My Exciting Adventure of the Magnificent Idanre Hills
Many Nigerians and several people across the world may have heard about or even visited the popular ldanre hills in Ondo State of Nigeria, but not many can boast of completing the task on the huge mountain/hills.
I decided to take a trip to this tourist haven not only to witness the wonders of nature on this huge Nigeria peak, but also to have a compelling and educative story to tell the world about the wonders of nature present on this huge hill.
On arrival, I met with Mr. Paul who was a very helpful tour guide to me during the course of my touring around the ldanre hills. He said to me that they always celebrate a festival here on this mountain once in a year, when all indigenes of Idanre come up the hill via a rope pegged from one rock to another. As he was speaking on one of the important and delicate features of the hill, the tour guide explained how in February, the people of Idanre celebrated a festival of A golden crown.
According to my tour guide, the present monarch of the town must come up the hill to wear the crown, and will dance from a spot here to the other. And here is the spot which I stand beside. While he is dancing, the crown on his head will be expanding until it reaches the size of his body and stroll down. Before the crown touches the ground (which is a taboo), the drumming changes and the crown starts coming back up the king's head, until it assumes its original shape. It was really scaring for me standing beside the spot but I braced up as a great tourist to listen to the explanations from the tour guide.
There are about 660 steps leading to the top of the hill and before reaching the top of the hill, there is a jungle on the mountain. It was really incredible! Inside the jungle there is a whole community which is today known as the old Idanre, and I saw two elderly old couples that have been living there for years. The community is surrounded by some huge rocks. I was informed that the name is not “Idanre” as it is being widely called. Rather, it is known as "Idan re", a Yoruba expression for "This is magic!"
To get to the top of the hills, tourists would have to climb 667 steps with 5 resting posts along the steps where tourists can take rest. When I was climbing the hills, my heart was beating fast and I had to rest at each of the five resting posts before furthering my adventure. The steps and the resting posts have been reconstructed.
I saw the old primary school building which was built by the missionaries in 1896 and which still exists today on the hills. I also saw a native court building which was established in 1906 by the white missionaries as an ancient prison where convicts spent their jail terms. (Picture below).
...and the oloris quarters and the ancient place that have been rehabilitated for conservation. Below is the picture of the ancient palace.)
According to the tour guide, there is a man on the mountain known as the Lorin, he is the custodian of the whole mountain. No matter how far he travels, he must come back to the mountain to sleep because he is the demi-god of the mountain. The Tour guide told me that I can't wear clothes or shoes into lorin’s house and I also cannot enter the hut uninvited, that he is a powerful person. He is one of the revered people in the whole community, both in the old and new Idanre.
Idanre is surrounded by towns like Akure, Ondo, Ifedore, Ala, among several other towns, and the major occupation there is farming. They love farming; I saw a lot of cocoa trees around the towns and villages. The villagers are very friendly people and they are really hardworking in farming as their major occupation in the village. The ldanre people are caring and good in hospitality, they are always ready to accommodate you and tell you more about the magnificent and historical IDANRE hills.
On this hills are different kind of names given to some particular hills according to the Tour guide who was taking me around and showing me the hills. He said there is a hill name llesun hill which was named after a great warrior who killed his daughter in order to fulfill his vow to sacrifice the first living thing that would come his way if he should win the war he went into. And his daughter was buried at the base of the llesun hill.
The tour guide was pointing to the base of the hills saying an annual ceremony is always observed on this hill base by some certain children of the llesun daughter's age. He said there is another hill named the Ajimoba Hill which is bit far from the llesun hill. The Ajimoba hills was named after a great King's gateman who was always active and dedicated. And there's another hill named the carter hill, the carter was named after a former colonial governor who signed a peace treaty with the King of ldanre in the year 1891. There is also Arun River which is a small river found on the hill, swimming in the middle of this river gives you a very mysterious frightening experience. The Arun River is a crystal clear river where crabs and some other creatures are found.
Estimated to be over 800 years, ldanre hills is a great tourist attraction in Nigeria and remains my favourite tourist destination in Nigeria and I would love everyone to visit it. In order for tourists to fully enjoy the Tourism potentials of ldanre hills, the government of Ondo State has reached an agreement with a private investor to construct 40-bedroom hotel close to the hills.
Idanre hills remains one of the wonders of nature and a marvelous Tourist destination for everyone around Nigeria and the world. If you are looking for an adventurous destination in Ondo State, ldanre hills is the number one destination to visit.
Bolaji Seun is a Nigerian tourist and travel blogger who is passionate about explorative tourism. He has visited many tourist attractions and destinations both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria including Ghana, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Bolaji is a guest blogger at www.afritraveller.com. You can follow him on Social media: Facebook:@TR Bo, Twitter: @BJTours, WhatsApp:+2348063513525.