Ado Awaye Mountain also referred to as Oke-Ado Mountain is located in the town of the same name in Oyo State.
Our tour there wasn’t just about hiking up, we had a yummy barbeque while on it and we also realised it is a mountain with more than one merit to it.
The Ado Awaye name is actually a merger of two separate communities who lived together after the Ado people descended the mountain.
The hike begins with about 350 steps after which you continue with your hands as guides. The hike is not exactly easy so if you are going to tackle it, be mentally prepared, eat and have water to help you along the way.
The mountain is greatly revered by all those who live around it as it holds a special place in the hearts of many. Sometimes people go up to pray on the mountain for days as they believe their answers will be answered and they are closer to the heavens.
Ado-Awaye is your regular mountain with great views of the city below. While it doesn’t have a very interesting history behind it, what makes it special are the things that have made this mountain their home. There are quite a lot to see while on it but it all depends on if you have time and how you feel.
- The Ìshàgé Rock
This is the first attraction you meet as you climb up the mountain. It is a rock that stands upright without any support. Part of the fascination is that come rain or shine, the rock remains standing. It is said to be a powerful god that grants the wishes of those who pray at its foot. Sometimes, those who come to pray bring a white cloth along and tie it around the rock. When the prayers are answered, the cloth falls down.
- Ìyàké Lake
This is probably the most important attraction on the mountain. Iyake lake is said to be one of the two hanging lakes in the world (the other is located on Glenwood Canyon’s cliff in Colorado).
History has it that if you attempt to go into this lake, you’ll never come out. It is said that once, a white man came and attempted to defy all odds. He went in and till today he hasn’t been found. The villagers also believe there is another world that exists underneath the lake. For these reasons, swimming is strictly forbidden.
While this may or may not be true, it’s forms part of the story that the lake is now identified by.
*a hanging lake is one on a mountain, hill, cliff etc that has no obvious source.
- The Elephant Tree
It gets its name from bearing a striking resemblance to an Elephant. It is said that this tree dropped from the sky, and on impact took this form. While it holds no special power or meaning, it is an attraction tourists are shown when they visit.
- Esè àwon Àgbà (Foot prints of the elders)
On the mountain, a bunch of indentations can be found and I personally think they resemble dinosaur foot prints, However, they are believed to belong to elders or probably gods who roamed around the mountain. It is said that on the other side of the mountain, there are a 100 more footprints.
- Ìyá-Aláró Lake
This is named after a woman in the village that dyes clothes. It is said that she worships it and comes to sacrifice things there at certain times during the year.
Other attractions on Ado-Awaye include Esè kan Aiyé, Esè kan Òrun which is a deep crack that separates one side of the mountain from the other, Màje kànkàn Shrine where every new king of Ado Awaye must visit and Ìyá Onírú Lake which is located on the other side of the mountain; it never dries up despite being shallow.
If you’re brave enough, you could attempt climbing to a point on the mountain called “Esekan Iku” (the verge of death) and scribble your name somewhere around to commemorate your brave feat.
It is said that there are up to 16 gods on this mountain so it is no surprise that it is revered by the people of the town.
Unfortunately there is no govt presence (apart from some worn out sign board hailing it as the home to the hanging lake. ). You have to haggle with the ‘area boys’ around there who know the route to take you up. This makes visiting difficult as you can’t plan ahead on what it would be cost you.
There is also no clear direction there so you’ll have to keep asking when you get to the town of Ado Awaye (it is 20km west of Iseyin).
Have you visited this ‘holy mountain’? Which of the attractions were you able to visit? Let us know in the comments section.
*foreign conversion is based on the current rate of the Naira and is subject to change.
*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.
*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person