The splendour of the interlocking array of mountains fitted perfectly to form a formidable defence mechanism is a sight to behold in the south western town of Nigeria called Idanre. Idanre, a name derived from the amazement of Ife warriors sent after the last son of Oduduwa who eloped Ife with the crown after the death of his father, disappeared into thin air on one of the hills. (Idanre means “this is a wonder”) {popular mythology around the name of the town}. The town was founded about 800 years ago and was well situated on the hills to defend the inhabitants from wars (This was during the inter-tribal wars in Yoruba Land) and Oke- Idanre the old settlements on the top of the hills. It is located on a small plateau several hundred meters above the valley floor.

Idanre  Idanre

Idanre   Idanre

The people of Idanre lived on the hill (Oke Idanre) for almost 100 years before descending to resettle at the base of the hills. The fascinating thing about the settlement is that the buildings and monuments on the hills are still intact even after about 500 years. These monuments can be accessed via an array of stairs numbering about 660 steps. A tour of the hill settlement reveals the Ancient Palace, the Courthouse, The ancient market place, is an intriguing footprint (Abogun foot prints), which is widely believed to enlarge or contract to accommodate every foot. It is as well believed that anybody whose foot does not exactly fit into the footprint is considered to be a witch or a wizard or to be guilty in case of an argument. the thunder-stricken stream, There is the mysterious Wonderful Mat which is said to be hanging at about 3,000 meters above sea level, and which no one has the idea of how it got there-which are sites you would not want to miss. What a sight to behold!

After the court house is the mausoleum of Idanre kings. Even the most recently deceased king’s remains are there. Also on sight are some mysterious characters in an unknown alphabet carved into a cliff face with no one with a little idea of what it is all about. It is locally called ‘Adiye ko Oyinbo kaa ti’ -which is translated literarily as, ‘the chicken wrote but the white man could not read’

Another interesting feature you will love to see is the ancient palace with an open courtyard where most public event is being held. The old palace is still in use even till date. Attached to the palace are buildings that serve interesting functions.

Leaving the palace, going back to the concrete stairs, some ancient features like the town market, places where great men were buried and other features. Part of which is an ancient stone, as explained is used as a measure to know who is ready for marriage among the men of the town. If such man lifts the stone up to his chest level, such man is believed to be fit for marriage.

Festivals in Idanre are many and they include the Orosun festival, the newly reformed Mare (don’t fall) festival which attract thousands of people annually.

Idanre…..what a sight!