BRIEF HISTORY OF ONDO STATE

Ondo State, which we know now, was created on February 3, 1976. Now, the closest eastern neighbors are Edo and Delta States, the western boundaries are guarded by Ogun and Osun States. The northern areas lie close to Ekiti and Kogi States, and the southern part opens into the Atlantic Ocean. Ekiti State was originally part of Ondo State but was made a separate state in 1996.

Today, the state occupies about 15,000km2. The area is inhabited by more than 3 million people with the biggest number and the highest density of the population in Akure, the capital city of the state.

The majority of people within the state belong to the Yoruba tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Nigeria. Foreigners and other ethnic groups are not very numerous here. Ondo State is mostly agricultural and does not have many impressive urban sites. Instead, it offers tourists wildlife attractions like waterfalls, picturesque hills, and so on. Besides that, the state is the world’s recognized place with the highest chances for local women of giving birth to twins. The Ondo city itself was founded by twin sisters and the number of twins of all possible ages is one of the main attractions of the state.

The history of Ondo State and its cities is mostly like the rich history of other Yoruba settlements and lands. However, this region has its specific features and peculiarities. For instance, the dialect people speak here is different from many other dialects of the Yoruba language. It often takes time for the non-indigenous people to understand the language people speak in this area.

Some tourist centres in Ondo state are:

IDANRE HILL

Idanre is a historic town and a Local Government Area in Ondo State, Nigeria. The village is situated at the base of the picturesque Idanre Hill, which has cultural and natural significance and attracts a large number of visitors. Owa’s Palace, Shrines, Old Court, Belfry, Agbooogun footprint, thunder water Omi Apaara, and burial mounds and lawns are among its physical features.

The ancient Idanre Hills is located in Idanre Town, about 24 kilometers southwest of Akure, Ondo State capital, has been a home for the Idanre community for about 100 years. Idanre is also known as the largest cocoa-producing region in Nigeria. It was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

It also boasts a wide and varied flora and animal ecosystem. Oke Idanre possesses significant biophysical and landform elements, which in combination with the setting’s physical features formed an enduring cultural landscape.

When you reach the top of the hill, you will notice a large tree known as the IRAYE TREE, which marks the entrance to the ancient city of Idanre. You can now prepare to climb the steps to the famous metropolis beyond the Idanre hills.

Road map to the Idanre hill

The Ogun festival, which takes place partly on top of the hills in October, and the Ije festival, which lasts seven days, are two examples.

The hill also plays host to a group of scientists and field researchers. The site is home to a group of bats and the people hold a unique festival of bats every year. The hill is being used by filmmakers as location for many of their films.

CAVE OF ASHES ISHARUN

Ifedore, Ondo State, Nigeria is home to the settlement of Isarun or Isharun. It is located 24 kilometers from Akure, the state capital. When a hunter, Chief Obele, found the Cave of Ashes or (in yorùbá: ìhò eléérù) in 1922, the town earned international attention.

In 1965, English archeologist Thurstan Shaw and his team visited the thick forest of Isarun, where they conducted extensive research on the area. They worked diligently and excavated stone age man’s bones in a cave estimated to be 11,200 years old. Other exhumed artifacts such as pottery works dating as far back as 1000 BC, human bones, and a cast of the skull were said to have been deposited at the University of Ibadan Museum, and some were reported to have been deposited.

Few people are aware that a cave in Ondo played a significant role in the documentation of West African archaeological history, with the finding of prehistoric man bones dating back to 9200 B.C. The Cave of Ashes is a must-see attraction for visitors, historians, and archaeologists alike.

SMOKING HILLS GOLF COURSE

The Smoking Hills are located on the outskirts of the tranquil hamlet of Ilara Mokin, about a 15-minute drive from Akure, Ondo state’s capital.

The resort features a 140-acre golf course carved out of the surrounding jungle and rolling hills, which exhale smoke early in the morning and around dawn, giving the resort its name. It is Nigeria’s premier endurance private golf course, offering conventional amenities like as a practice area, driving range, and a beginner’s Par 3 course.

Smokin Hills Golf Resort is an excellent choice for guests looking for a relaxing spot to unwind after a long day, or for golf enthusiasts looking for an international class golf course. It combines the sophistication of a golf course with the peace and quiet of a historic town.

The flora at this resort is especially beautiful in the morning, against the backdrop of smoke that wafts in the air immediately after dawn. Built by Chief Michael Ade Ojo in 2012.

According to Chief Michael Ade Ojo, the golf club is on track to become Africa’s number one golf club in a few years. “This is just the beginning of what we hope will be the centre of international golf in Nigeria because what we have here at the Smokin Hills Golf Resort matches up to the best in the world”, Ojo chimed in.

Furthermore, while the projected 5-star hotel has yet to be built, the course is peppered with blocks of chalets. Once completed, this resort will undoubtedly be one of Africa’s most revered destinations for all-round tourism and back-to-nature experiences. The TMA team, along with members of Ambassadors of Africa, had a fantastic time at the resort, thanks to the resort’s Marketing Manager, Mr. Bayo Aderinto.

Agbabu Bitumen

At Agbabu in Ondo State, Nigeria, there is a substantial deposit of natural bitumen. The country is said to have a proven deposit of 42.47 billion tonnes of bitumen, the world’s second-largest, but it has yet to be exploited for economic purposes.

However, there is a scarcity of studies on its alteration in the literature. The purpose of this research is to see if polyphosphoric acid (PPA) may be used as a modifier in Agbabu natural bitumen (ANB). The performance of unmodified and PPA modified ANB was compared, with a focus on Fourier Transform Infrared analysis and basic physical tests such as penetration, softening point, fire and flashpoint, and specific gravity. The test of kinematic viscosity (flow) was also looked at. The penetration indexes of ANB samples were computed using softening point penetration values.

It is necessary to correct the situation. Agbabu is simply one of many communities in Ondo State’s bitumen deposit area. Despite the fact that Agbabu and Loda share a forest boundary, Loda was long associated with bitumen before Agbabu entered the picture.

IGBO OLODUMARE

Igbo Olodumare, a world within a world, cloaked in luxuriant vegetative garb, is a beguiling environment, and it is, as its name suggests, ‘The Forest of the Almighty.

The mysterious forest was first brought to notice by two of D. O. Fagunwa’s great works – Ògbójú ode nínú Igbó írúnmolè & Igbó Olódùmarè; and was later translated to English language by the Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka. He described the forest as the forest of witches, wizards, spirits and a hundred more mysterious things.

From Akure, the state capital, it’s a two-hour drive to the lovely forest. Ile-residents Oluji’s are largely cocoa and oil-palm producers. They also make a living by tapping palm wine, which is a common industry in the south west of Nigeria. A strange-looking town sits twenty minutes from the entrance to Igbo-Olodumare, which the locals see as the age-old ‘guard’ of the ancient forest.

The picturesque gèrwèsé Rivulet—the first attraction in the mysterious forest—cannot help but be distracted by the picturesque gèrwèsé Rivulet, which the locals believe has the spiritual ability to keep evil creatures out of the village and to neutralize any form of charm that evil-minded visitors try to bring into the forest. Igbo-Olodumare is a mountainous landscape accented by stunning inselbergs of varied proportions, which are intertwined with thick forest covers.

A t-junction leads to a spot named Òkè-Lángbòdò and a place called  Ìsálú Òrun- it is from these two places that one can connect to other areas of the forest. It is reported that Ìsálú Òrun is not a spot where visitors are permitted because it is thought to be the home of the spirits.

ARAROMI BEACH

Araromi discovery is one of the most exhilarating adventures you can have. More than seeing an excessive amount of sand spread across the soil or sea waves constantly trying to wash this sand away, the sensation was unforgettable. There was more to it than sand on one’s shoes and a salty breeze in one’s hair. It was so much more than that, and that is what made the trip so memorable.

To begin, you must realize that there is nothing more exhilarating than moving with others who share your interests. It’s like taking a deep breath of fresh air! Furthermore, it allows all parties to accomplish far more than they could if they traveled alone.

We enjoy exploring new areas, trying new foods, meeting new people, and learning about new things in general. In certain ways, we believe this aids in the discovery of one’s own skills. Being confined to a space or a system is a horrible experience.

OKE MARIA

Oke Maria, which means ‘Mary’s Hill’ in Yoruba, is a Yoruba pilgrimage site in Ondo State where an unsubstantiated apparition of the Virgin Mary occurred around 1916. It is now a sacred site frequented by pilgrims and devotees from all over the world, with a shrine to the Virgin Mary, a pre-Vatican II church, a building dating back over a century, and a more than 100-year-old mango tree.

The Catholic Church’s reverence and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is one of the unique traits that may be seen in the Catholic faithful. This could be one of the reasons why the Oke Maria hill in Oka Akoko, Ondo State’s Akoko South-West Local Government Area, was established, as there was no connection between the Holy Mary hill and the Oka Akoko community’s history.

For the first-time visitor, visiting the less than three-kilometer hill top of Oke Maria is not a child’s play, as one must stop at least once or twice along the journey to the mountain top. Despite this, visitors continue to flock to the sacred hill, where prayers are answered and solutions to most problems are provided.

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