Panoramic View of Odode Idanre. | May 21, 2014

Panoramic View of Odode Idanre.

One of the greatest recreation is visiting tourist centers.Tourist attractions hence is a natural endowment to a community . It also generates income for the government and boost the socio-economic situation of a community or country at large. The IDANRE HILLS is reknown to be amongst the greatest cultural heritage of Nigeria.This natural endownment has brought the entire Idanre community into limelight and fame. "The historical Idanre hills are marvelous tourist attractions. Idanre town where these hills are located is about 15km southwest of Akure, the state capital. There is the ancient town, which is at the hill top and the new settlement at the foot of the hills. The Idanre hills, which are steep-sided, smooth and dome-shaped in nature, present an awe-inspiring sight. The different hills were named after some historical figures in the sociocultural evolution of Idanreland. Some of these are the Olofin and Orosun Hills named after Olofin, the pioneer Oba of Oke- Idanre and his queen respectively. The Ahiala Hill is very peculiar because it has a very wonderful footprint named Agbogun into which visitors put their feet. It is believed that anybody whose feet do not exactly fit into the footprint is considered to be a witch or wizard. There is also Carter Hills named after a former Colonial Governor who signed a peace treaty with the Oba of Idanre in 1891. The Ajimoba Hill was named after a gateman, while the Ilesun Hill was named after an ill-fated daughter of a great warrior who killed his daughter in fulfillment of his promise to sacrifice the first living thing that comes his way if he should be victorious in his war exploit. The girl was buried near the Ilesun Hill and every year, there is a commemoration ceremony on the hill by children of her age. Idanre Hills in the past offered protection against invaders and are worshipped annually. The cultural relics in terms of god, goddesses and traditional arts and crafts can still be seen in addition to the old palace built around the 17th century. To get to the top of the hill, tourists will have to climb 640 steps with five resting posts along the steps where tourists can take a rest." Visit idanre and appreciate nature the more!!!!!


Idanre Hills, Melting Pot of Nature and Tradition. | May 21, 2014

Idanre Hills, Melting Pot of Nature and Tradition.

Oke Idanre hill consists of high plain with spectacular valleys interspersed with inselbergs of about 3,000 ft above sea level. Its physical attributes include Owa's Palace, Shrines, Old Court, Belfry, Agbooogun foot print, thunder water (Omi Aopara) and burial mounds and grounds. It also has diverse and variegated eco-systems of flora and fauna. Oke Idanre contains very important bio-physical and land form features whose interaction with the physical features created an enduring cultural landscape within the setting.Among notable sites that catch the fancy of tourists are the unreadable letters, believed to be a mysterious handwriting etched on the rock, which could not be deciphered or read and interpreted by anyone since it was noticed conspicuously on the rock. Also, there is the Arun River, which is believed to have natural power to heal all kinds and manners of ailments and diseases, and it has been visited by many people over the years. The Agbogun footprint presents an attractive spectre of a mythical shoeprint which could fit into the size of anyone who put their foot into it, regardless of the size of their foot. It was disclosed that Agbogun served as a traditional investigative device for discovering people with witchcraft or other familiar spirits in the olden days. The ancient traditional palace, which is a reflection of the ingenious African architecture, is also interesting to behold.


Mare Festival | May 21, 2014

Mare Festival

Mare is a mountain – climbing fiesta in Idanre, Ondo state, south west of Nigeria.The festival, which was maidened in 2009 features Cultural and traditional heritage ofthe people with the sports-inclined mountaineering.The festival, last year drew participants from across Nigeria, South Africa and Europe.A native boy, Sunday Akinwumi who came first in the mountain climbing competitionwon scholarship, prizes and trips abroad sponsored by the state government.

MARE MARATHON

Mare Marathon is an event introduced as part of activities for the celebration since year 2010.The 23 kilometre event kicks off from Akure, the state capital to the ancient city ofIdanre, the mountaineous venue of the celebration.


The Names of the past Obas in Idanre. | May 21, 2014

The Names of the past Obas in Idanre.

Idanre hill is one of the most awesome and beautiful landscapes in Ondo state and Nigeria. The town is one of the highest Cocoa producers in Nigeria. Idanre, formally called "Ufeke(Ife Oke)", a hilly town, a few kilometers away from Akure, the capital of Ondo state, is indeed a mysterious town. With the focus of Ondo state and National Government on tourism, Idanre is poised to emerge as a most sought after destination for Nigerian tourists and their international counterparts.
Idanre is rich with diverse culture and traditions, rare artifacts, things and places of cultural and historical significance and other interesting facts that may interest anybody visiting or reading about Idanre. Below are some of these facts:
The Names of the past Obas in Idanre.There were 25 Obas who had ruled unbroken tenure at Oke Idanre before the present Oba Arubiefin the IV, who is 26th Oba in Idanre. The incumbent Oba today lives partly on the hills and partly at the present location at Odode.
The names of the past Obas in Idanre and some of their outstanding achievements are compiled by Chief S.A Akindoju and Mr M.O Olagundoye in 1962 in their pamphlet titled The History of Idanre are listed below.

     
  • Owa Agboogun led Idanre people from Utaja to Oke Idanre.
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  • Owa Baganju, choses the site for the building of the old Palace at Oke Idanre.
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  • Owa Beyoja successfully defended her territory against the invading Oyo Soldiers
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  • Owa Jarugan, the son of Baganju
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  • Owa Ogbogbomudu
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  • Owa Agunmanyan is the first Owa of Idanre to visit Ado Bini or Osen.
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  • Owa Amuwaro
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  • Owa Bogede
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  • Owa Sofin
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  • Owa Oganyeri(Ajinamurobo maku)
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  • Owa Oluodo
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  • Owa Obojo
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  • Owa Olugharere
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  • Owa Resilebete
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  • Owa Elegbehoho
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  • Owa Ogedemeru
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  • Owa Orile
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  • Owa Yiworo, Alade market was founded during his reign
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  • Owa Kulumo
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  • Owa Arowojoye
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  • Owa Ajikansekun
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  • Owa Agunleye
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  • Owa Arubiefin I (1832 - 1912)
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  • Owa Gbolagbeye Arubiefin II (1913 - 1919)
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  • Owa Adegbule Aroloye Arubiefin III
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  • Owa Dr. Frederick Adegunle Aroloye JP. OFR. (1976 - till date) Obaship institution with crown was approved for Alade and Atosin.
Excerpts from Exclusive World Magazine and Tourism Development Network


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Idanre Photo Contest | May 22, 2014

Idanre Photo Contest

A Photo Contest, showcasing the best picture of idanre is coming up soon. Details of how to enter the competition will be posted on this site.


Idanre: 660 steps to wonder hill (Punch) | May 23, 2014

Idanre: 660 steps to wonder hill (Punch)

Idanre Is a sleepy town of about 129,000 people located beautifully at a valley spanning 1,914 square kilometres. For a first time visitor, the visibly striking features of the range of mountains with several peaks along the undulating expanse set the stage for an excellent experience with nature. However, the people are seemingly oblivious of the intimidating heights of rocks encircling them in a conical order, as they go about their daily activities ignoring the awesome natural edifices. People in Idanre are largely farmers. This differs from what is common in other climes, where the location of a tourist’s site defines the occupation and vocation of the population around that location. As one drives into the town, the tarred road is halved by cocoa seeds. Most farmers have turned a part of the road into sun-baked ground. It is difficult to perceive any tourism indicators at the entrance to the town, which is home to some interesting ancient histories worth selling to the world. “The town can be described as a close locked up by the heights of mountains. There is only one road leading into the town. It is the same road that you will pass through if you are leaving the town,” a visitor, who craved anonymity, said.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that during the pre-colonial era, some of the indigenes had lived on top of the Idanre hill, known among the people as Oke Idanre. A tour guide with the Ondo State Tourism Office, who wished to be identified simply as Richard, said, “In the past, the Idanre people lived on top of the hill, which offered a plateau-like environment, and served as home to the various ancient Idanre communities. It also provided a ready protection for the people against invading armies. The people lived on the hill for 800 years before the quest for development forced them down to the valley in 1928.” The hill’s flat surface is 3,000 feet above sea level. It is accessible by an intimidating 660 steps laid in concrete along the side of the hill. Climbers are furnished with several resting places to make climbing a pleasurable adventure. Richard also said, “The steps were 460 in number when it was first constructed in 1954, but with the intervention of UNESCO in 2007, when the hill was tentatively listed as a world heritage site, the steps went up to 660. The ancient community of Oke Idanre are in three quarters, occupying a land area of 5km radius.” 

Idanre hill still retains the Old Igboore Standard School, located in the first part of the hill, known as Udega, established in 1896 by Gilbert Carter, who was a colonial visitor to Nigeria in 1894. It also boasts of the legendary Omiapaara (Thunder River), the Arun River, supposedly possessing healing powers; the court, and the mausoleum, where kings were interred. Although the practice of burying dead kings on the hill is no longer in vogue, the Idanre still bring their dead traditional rulers up the hill to perform the last funeral rites on them before they are finally interred. An interesting feature of the hill is the inscription on one of the gigantic rocks, similar to ancient hieroglyphics. The letters are clear, but unintelligible and unreadable: a perpetual mythical mystery in the midst of the mountain jungle. Richard said, “The letters had been so designated because no one has been able to read them.” Another notable site on the hill is the ancient palace. The inner court of the palace is beautifully decorated by sculptural carvings used as pillars along the length and breadth of the court. The carvings, which depict the loyal servants of the ruling kings at different times, are in dire need of renovations and preservation. However, the tour guide said the architectural design of the ancient palace had been adopted in the construction of the new palace down the valley. This could be confirmed by an aerial view of the new palace from the top of the hill. At the courtyard are some dried skulls of cattle slaughtered every year to commemorate the anniversary of the Idanre king. The number of skulls represented the number of years a particular king had spent on the throne. “This place still holds great cultural value to the people of Idanre. Any time they want to perfect certain cultural rights, either during festivals or coronation of chiefs, the Idanre people will ascend the top of the hill and return to their ancient home,” the guide said.

The Orosun festival is a notable one associated with the hill. The Mare festival is a recent creation which is sports oriented and involves mountain climbing. Idanre is no doubt an exciting tourist site, with a potential to compete with other national and international tourist attractions across the world. The historical sites still present there underline this. However, it seems not enough attention and appreciation has been paid to Idanre Hill’s tourism potential. The tourism officer in charge of the site, Mr. I. Idowu, said the site lacked the basic infrastructure befitting a tourism destination. According to him, lack of perimeter fencing and a welcoming facade reduces its value as a tourism site. “Whenever we have a large number of people coming in, the community benefits because the people buy beverages from them. We are supposed to have accommodation, restaurant, bar and a car park. Then we can do a good publicity for Idanre Hill. But these are lacking for now,” he said. Idowu’s lamentations are evident in the dilapidated chalets, poorly kept surroundings and littered environment on the hill. 

Idanre Hill, which was tentatively listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2007, is not living up to its rating, writesOLUWOLE JOSIAH


Idanre Hill being considered as world heritage centre—Curator (Tribune) | May 23, 2014

Idanre Hill being considered as world heritage centre—Curator (Tribune)

THE Heritage Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Akure, Mr Olorunnipa Amos, has said the Idanre Hill in Ondo State, is being considered for upgrading to a UNESCO  world heritage centre.

Amos told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akure on Sunday that the centre, if finally approved, would become the third world tourist centre in the country.

“Idanre cultural landscape is a proposed national monument and UNESCO  world heritage centre in Nigeria.

“We have 985 of such centres on the world heritage map but in Nigeria, we have just Osun Osogbo in Osun State and Sukun Cultural Landscape in Adamawa State.

“The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Ondo State government, is making several efforts to actualise the dream of making the Idanre Hill a great tourist site,” he said.

Amos said  a lot of work had been done to prepare it to meet UNESCO standard, adding  that it would be a huge source of revenue for government when completed.

The curator said that government had rehabilitated some old buildings built in 1915 by the Idanre community.

He, however, advised residents of the hilly community not to mutilate the walls of the buildings but cooperate with government in realising its dream.

“This historic hill is 670 steps uphill and it is one of the highest in South-West  Nigeria.

“We have been creating awareness by moving students, scholars and researchers day in day out, to and from  the site.

“The state government has initiated the celebration of the annual Mare Festival on the hill, and this has been attracting foreigners from across the globe,’’ he said.

Amos said that since the government’s initiative in 2008, the number of tourists visiting the hill had increased tremendously.