I am really embarrassed saying this but I am from Ogun State, I schooled in Ogun State for 5 years (Covenant University) and this trip was my very first time visiting Olumo Rock. I follow @UnravellingNigeria on Instagram and she had planned a tour to Olumo Rock, I happily paid for the tour not knowing anyone in the bus. I was a bit skecptical at first but I had fun and I managed to cross something off my list (Rock-Climbing). I may still add it back if I ever have the opportunity to travel out of Nigeria.
To be honest, I am not exactly sure how long the journey took us or if we even encountered traffic on the way because I was asleep through out the journey.
Lemme give you a lil back story on Olumo Rock and Abeokuta.
Abeokuta (Abẹ okuta) which means “Under the rock” is also known as the Egbaland and is the capital of Ogun State. Olumo means “God molded it” and “God has put an end to our travail and unrest”.
“Abeokuta was originally inhabited by the Egba people. People who found refuge at the Olumo rock during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. The rock provided sanctuary to the people as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance leading to eventual triumph in war.” – Wikipedia
It was said that the the spring water that flows out near the crown tree and all the way down the rock base was medicinal. About 50 years ago, the water stopped flowing till date and no knows why.
The site has various Art galleries (we were not allowed to take pictures inside the Gallery due to copyright thingy) and a restaurant.
If you dont want to go through the stress of rock climbing (not sure why you would come tho), then there is an elevator which takes to various points on the rock. It costs about N1500 for the trip, but there was no light the day we came and so we couldn’t use it.
The cave is now used as an Olumo deity shrine hence the blood and chicken feathers on the door. It is said that during the Ogun Festival (5th August), sacrifices are made at the shrine to appease the gods.
It is said that Medicinal Water used to flow form the Olumo Rock and can be used in curing all aliments.
Underneath the rock is the tombstone of Chief Sonni Osi-Toko who died on the 23rd January 1956.
Moving on, we came across another where the priestess stays.
It is said that the leaves of this tree is used in the coronation of Kings but that this particular that of this particular tree can only be used in the coronation of the Alake of Egbaland.
The rooms underneath the rock where the Egba people hid during the war. There were various rooms underneath the rock. “The Egba people built mud walls and pillars across the entrance of the caves to form the perfect dwelling places.” – NaijaTreks
The standing heads representing the warriors who survived the war, while the other heads represent the warriors who did not survive the war.
The bark of this tree is boiled and used to bathe prematured children. If the water touches the head of the child, it is said that the head of the child would be very big.
The tree produces some fruits which has a milky substance inside it, hence the milky substance on the tree.