Caleb Akinboro takes a trip to Idanre hills, one of Ondo State’s main tourist attractions
Ondo State the only state in Nigeria blessed with the highest coast line has several tourist’s centres whose historical values are unparalleled.
One of this tourist attractions is Idanre hills in Idanre town. Idanre hills otherwise known as ‘Oke Idanre’ is situated in Idnare town in Ondo state and is said to have existed for over 800 years. The town is divided into the new settlement which is at the foot of the hills, and Oke Idanre the old settlement on the top of the hills. It comprises of cultural and historical sites like Owa’s palace, old court, Agbooogun footprint among others.
It is a marvelous tourist attraction with location of about 24 Kilometers South West of Akure the state capital. The hills consists of about 640 steps, there are also five resting post along the steps to the top. At the top there is an intriguing footprint which is widely believed that can be enlarged to accommodate every foot. It is equally believed that everybody whose foot does not exactly fit into the footprint is considered to be a witch or wizard.
Idanre Hills also consists of high plain with spectacular valleys of about 3,000ft above sea level. Its physical attractions include Owa palace, Shrines, Old court, Belfrey and many others. Any tourist who wants to get to the top of the hills will have to climb 667 steps in which there are five resting posts along the steps where tourist can take a rest.
Idanre people celebrate a festival called Orisun which is held yearly every May. The indigenes participate in the festival which is packaged with cultural activities. The essence of the festival is to offer sacrificial offerings to Orosun, the god of the highest peak in the hills.
Idanre also has numerous artifacts. One of them is the ‘Art of Noah’ an ancient wooden structure made in form of a ship like the one talked about in the bible and placed on a relatively flat hilltop. It is often regarded by the people of Idanre as biblical Ark of Noah.
It also has diverse and variegated eco-system of flora and founa. Idanre hills contain very important bio-physical and land form features. It is one of the most awesome and beautiful natural landscape in Ondo state of Nigeria.
Added to the beauty which fires human curiosity is the fact that the entire people of Idanre lived on these borders for almost a millennium.
Also, festival the site a living tradition. For example, the Ogun festival which is partly celebreated on top of the hills during October, and Ife festival which is spread over a period of seven days.
Idanre hills also play host to hotels one of which is a new a 40 bedroom hotel which the state government has embarked on the construction with 18’ hole golf course at Atosin-Idanre with a private investor. Government has also commissioned a museums all aimed to enlist Idanre hills on the prestigious Word Heritage Site by UNESCO).