Ado-Awaye is a town n Oyo State, Nigeria. It is located 20 kilometres off the Iseyin Local Government headquarters in The Oke Ogun Area. You may be wondering what is worthy of mention in this town but this town holds a natural wonder.
Oyo state is popular for being the headquarters of twin births in the world but the quirt town of Ado- Awaye holds the only other Suspended Lake that exists in the world other than the Hanging Lake in Colorado, United States.
A suspended lake is a body of water formed on a mountain due to geologic activity and Iyake lake as it is called is especially iconic, the town and its accompanying lake have a lot of wonders which am going to fill you upon.
The Iyake Lake is the only suspended lake in Africa one out of the only two in the world after the Hanging Lake in Colorado, United States. It is one of the most iconic places in Nigeria and really deserves a visit as well as being one of the seven wonders of Nigeria. It is said to be bottomless by people who live around it and has supposedly swallowed those who have tried to measure its depth or even enter it.
Till date, whoever enters the Iyake Lake never comes out of it, it is said to be the god of fertility of the Mountain and the villagers make sacrifices in its honour.
The water level in the lake is the same through all seasons and never dries up, it has some aquatic life in it, and an example would be some turtles who call the lake home.
The villagers of Ado- Awaye believe that beneath the lake exists another parallel world that looks like earth, and whoever goes into that world by entering the lake will never be able to return to our world.
The water body of the lake has also been said to have magical and medicinal purposes and people frequently take bottles of water from the lake.
Agbómofúnyàké literally means, “Collects child and gives to Iyake”. This is the name of a little hole located just beside the Iyake Lake. The villagers believe that whenever the hole has water in it, whosoever puts his leg into the hole will be dragged to the bottom of Iyake Lake.
This is another lake on the mountain, named after an old woman in the Ado-Awaye village, who specializes in the dying of clothes.
They say that this old woman, known as “Iya Alaro”, worships the lakes and makes sacrifices to them at specific times each year.
The lake is has a very gloomy depth and its surface and surrounding are filled with a lush overgrowth of vegetation.
Oke Ishage (Ishage Rock)
The Ishage Rock is a rock that brings rain for the Ado-Awaye people. It is a large elongated boulder of rock that is balanced and is standing upright on one of its small edges.
That this boulder has not fallen off the very steep mountainside on which it resides is a mystery to the resident Ado-Awaye people and tourists visiting the mountain and its wonders.
Whenever it doesn’t rain in the town and rain is needed, the chief priest of the town goes to the rock, covers the “waist” of the rock with a white cloth, then rain falls for 3-4 days straight, this is according to the belief of the villagers.
Esè àwon Àgbà
Esè àwon Àgbà literally means “the footprint of the elders”. This is a collection of large “footprints” found all over the mountain. The villagers believe that the gods once walked over the mountain to protect the local populace during the time the locals stayed up on the mountain. Some excavations on the mountain have proved that there was a human settlement on the mountain.
The Elephant Tree
This is a trunk of a fallen tree, which has come to take the form of the head and trunk of an elephant.
The eyes of the elephant are also represented on the mysterious formation. Hikers on the mountain are allowed to climb the formation and sit on it while posing for photos.
These and many more wonders can be found on the mountain but sadly the State Government of Oyo State seems to have no plans in boosting tourism to the site, compared to its US counterpart that garners over 13,000 tourists yearly, ours is a far cry. Such things should not be allowed to happen, the mere fact of it being the only suspended lake in Africa should give the government the initiative to promote it. IT could give the state much-needed revenue and help improve cultural heritage and awareness. However, it is one of our heritages that are allowed to slowly go back into decline.