Ado-Awaye: The Seven Wonders of The Mysterious Town in Oyo
Ado-Awaye, a small town formed in 1500 AD at Oyo State, is a wonder!
History has it that The Alaafin of Oyo’s crown prince, Koyi, who was supposed to become the Alaafin was denied and his younger brother, Onigbogi, took over. Out of anger, Koyi left Oyo with one of his father’s crowns to settle in Otta, his mother’s hometown. He travelled through plain grounds until he got to the foot of the Ado Hill, where he saw a cloud of smoke. Koyi climbed the mountain where he met some escapees from the Dahomey war. After some discussions and deliberations, they agreed to crown him King of Ado.
In this article, we highlight tourist attractions that make Ado-Awaye a wonder.
Oke Ishage (Ishage Rock)
Ishage Rock is a rainmaker for the Ado-Awaye people. It is a large elongated boulder of rock, balanced and standing upright on one of its small edges.
The fact that this boulder has not fallen off the steep mountainside on which it rests remains a mystery to the Ado-Awaye people and tourists visiting the mountain.
Whenever it doesn’t rain and rain is needed, the chief priest goes to the rock, covers the “waist” of the rock with a white cloth, and rainfalls for 3-4 days straight.
Iyake Lake is the only recognized suspended/hanging lake in Africa – one of the only two in the world after the Hanging Lake in Colorado. It is one of our favourite tourist locations to visit in Nigeria. It is said to be bottomless and have swallowed those who have tried to measure its depth.
Till date, whoever enters the lake never comes out of it. It is ascribed as the main god of fertility of the Mountain. The villagers believe that another world that looks like the earth exists beneath the lake, and whoever dives into the lake, transits into that world and will never be able to return to our world again.
It is also one of the numerous lakes on the mountain. The lake was named after an old woman in the Ado-Awaye village, who specializes in tie and dye batik.
The old woman, known as “Iya Alaro”, worships the lakes and sacrifices to it at specific times during the year.
The lake is characterized by a gloomy depth which underscores its association with Iya Alaro and its surface and surrounding is bedecked with a lush overgrowth of colourful vegetation.
The Elephant Tree
This is composed of the tangled trunk or root of a fallen tree which dramatically takes the form of the head and trunk of an elephant.
The eyes of the elephant are also well represented on the formation. Hikers on the mountain often climb the formation to sit on the ‘elephant’s head’ while posing for pictures.
Agbómofúnyàké means “collect child and gives to iyake”. This little hole is located just beside the iyake lake. It is a common belief that, whenever the hole has water in it, whoever puts his leg into it gets dragged to the bottom of iyake lake.
Esè àwon Àgbà
Esè àwon Àgbà translates to “the footprint of the elders”. It is a cluster of large “footprints” found all over the mountain. It is believed that the gods once walked over the mountain to protect the locals during the time the locals stayed up the mountain.
Esè kan Aiyé Esè kan Òrun
This is a wide and deep chasm on the mountain which separates one part of the mountain from the other part that hosts the peak of the mountain.
Only brave mountain climbers dare to cross this valley as the rock slopes steeply along the valley walls. A narrow, very steep and slippery path across the valley is the only link to the two parts of the mountain.
Ado-Awaye can attract tourist attention from all around the world if given proper attention and exposure.
Image Credit: Adedotun Ajibade, a renown adventurer, environmentalist and outdoor photographer.
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