Mount with healing water : The tale of Idanre Hill By Bamigbola Gbolagunte

“Top politicians have been here before, but I cannot mention their names. We gave them power and many of them are doing well. This is not an ordinary place but a place where people get power aside the fact that it is also a place to catch fun for tourists from all over the world.”

Idanre Hill is a perfect display of nature. At a distance, a first time visitor could be deceived that the hill is easy to climb. But, getting closer would reveal its true landscape.

The hill is one of the ancient hills in the world and is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Year in year out, tourists from all over the world flood Idanre to have a fill of the wonder hill.

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Located in a serene environment with adorable topography, Idanre Hill has both spiritual and tourist values. Both values made the hill to serve as a reliable source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to Ondo State Government. A good sum of money is realized daily as tourists tourist pay before being allowed to enter into the groove.

As a result, government has preserved the hill and turned it to an adorable place attractive and interesting for tourists. Besides, its spiritual and mythological values make it a must visit even for traditionalists.

Idanre, a community in Ondo Central Senatorial District has become popular as a result of the hill. The hill is synonymous with the town as the name Idanre, may not be complete without adding the hill. The hill is located in the outskirt of the town.

A few kilometres to the centre of the town, one would marvel at the aesthetics, architecture and thoroughness employed by nature in the assemblage of hills of various shapes and sizes at Idanre. It is called “Oke Idanre” by the locals.

The natural splendor of the hill and its topographical position are such that make the hill increasingly glamorous. Likewise the myths and powers of the hill fascinate spiritualists and traditionalists to it almost on daily basis.

However, not only traditional religion worshipers visit the hill, Christian spiritualists, especially prophets visit the hill to receive guidance and to observe spiritual exercise needed for the growth of their ministries and work. A stream located on the hill known as “Arun Water” is the delight of the spiritualists who claim that the water has therapeutic effects allegedly curing all forms of ailments.

According to Mr. Oluwaseun Ayobami, a devotee of the Idanre Hill who explained its history: “The hill consists of high plain with spectacular valleys interspersed with height of about 3,000 feet above sea level.”

He said the hill is about 800 years old and reached by about 640 steps with five resting points on the way: “It is a breathtaking landscape that also provides a window to the town’s colorful history. The evergreen landscape surrounding the hills provides fellowship with nature’s best.

“The peacefulness that pervades the atmosphere, the blossoming civilization that existed on the hills, the rigors of climbing and a refreshing swim in Arun River, all make the Idanre Hill a wonderful place to visit.

“Arun River is crystal clear and one can see crabs and a few other aquatic animals inside it, while the more adventurous can also dare the Agboogun footprints, widely believed to enlarge or contract to accommodate every foot.”

On the Idanre hill are “Agboogun” footprints, which its devotees described as work of nature as they conveniently enlarge on contract to accommodate every foot. The footprints are as old as the hill itself and accommodate all forms of human feet of different sizes. The chief priest of the hill who claimed to be the head of the Ogboni fraternity in the state, Chief Oluawo, said the hill provided refuge for the people during wars: “Our people lived on the hill before they relocated to the present town.

“This was the place where the first set of settlers lived. It was a place where our forefathers lived before they relocated to the present Idanre. In this place we experienced peace. That is where you can still see some of the buildings our people lived while here.

“The corpse of Iya Aye, that is, the woman who was instrumental to the formation of Ogboni was buried in this place. That is why this hill is a sacred place for every traditionalist across the world. Many people come from within and outside the country to pay homage to the burial ground of the woman, while others come to acquire spiritual power through our mother because her spirit still works wonders.

“Top politicians have been here before, but I cannot mention their names. We gave them power and many of them are doing well. This is not an ordinary place but a place where people get power aside the fact that it is also a place to catch fun for tourists from all over the world.”

A devotee, Olowo Iyanda explained: “Oke Idanre consists of high plain with spectacular valleys. Its physical attributes include Owa’s Palace, shrines, old court, belfry and Agboogun footprints. It also has diverse and variegated eco-systems of flora and fauna. Oke Idanre contains very important biophysical and landform features whose interaction with the physical features created an enduring cultural landscape within the setting.

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