Olumo Rock is a tourist attraction located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. The Rock has an ancient history because it was used as a fortress by the Egba people in the early 19th century.
The entrance gate of Olumo Rock Tourist Complex
Abeokuta was originally occupied by the Egbas; people who found refuge at the Olumo rock during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. The rock provided refuge to the people and also served as a point to monitor the enemies’ movement which led to an ultimate victory in the war.
The rock the medicinal water falls from
The water that flows from the rock has history of being medicinal. The water is said to have all relevant elements to cure all forms of ailments, the water falls from the crown tree on the rock and flows down. Traditionalists likewise come to take a drop of the water.
The grave shows the final resting place of Chief Sonmi; he was the Osi of Toko in his life time.
Olumo Rock is in between two communities; the Ikija and the Toko communities. According to the custom of the land, when a chief dies, he is buried at the back of his house. That is the reason, the grave is on the rock, because the family has their family house on the rock.
Egba war time hide out
In 1830, the people of Egba were under old Oyo Empire and they sought for independent and where to hide. They consulted the oracle and the oracle directed them to the rock. On their way to the rock, they found a man called Adagba, he was a great hunter. During that time, the place the rock was located was a thick jungle only powerful hunters can explore the jungle.
Adagba; the hunter allowed the Egbas to hide under the rock and they stayed there for three years between 1830 -1833. During those period, they built five rooms with muds under the cave. The women and children stayed in the rooms while men and warriors surrounded the rock to hinder the enemies from gaining access to the rock.
The rock, apart from being called Olumo Rock is also known as Olu Fimo; which means ‘ibi ti oluwa fi mo’ translated as ‘where God ended the sufferings’. The Olumo is the shortened form for ‘Oluwa nlo mo fun wa’ translated ‘God moulded it for us’. The Egbas believed God benevolently moulded the rock for their safety.
After the war, they left the rock. People asked them where they hid themselves during the war and they said ‘under the rock’ in Yoruba language means ‘Abeokuta’. That begins the history of the city Abeokuta, their name was changed from Egba to Abeokuta.
So, if you are in Abeokuta and you are yet to visit Olumo Rock, you are not in Abeokuta because the name was birthed there.
The lift and stair case to reach the peak of the rock.
Olumo rock has a height of 137 metres above sea level. On the top of the rock one can see different places they include:
The First Church in Nigeria built in 1844; St. Peter Anglican Cathedral, Ake. On the 3rd January, 1843 a batch of Anglican Church Missionaries from Sierra Leone came to Abeokuta through Badagry and they stayed in the city for a week.
Nigeria Television Authourity (NTA) Abeokuta; NTA channels 12 commenced full transmission on 17th October 1979. Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta; the school was established on 23rd January 1923.
Ogun river at sight
Ogun River; the famous River from which the State derives her name cuts across four states, Osun, Lagos, Oyo and Ondo through Republic of Benin and burst into the Atlantic Ocean.
Government House of Ogun state; Rock hill. M.K.O Abiola Family house; the Abiola’s compound, Oja Agbo Agwa Abeokuta.
Mosque Kobiti; the central mosque which was rebuilt in 1925, it is the only mosque all the Egba Muslim Community converge to pray and where the Chief Imam of Egbaland leads prayers.
The Iroko tree rooted in the rock.
The Iroko tree is rooted in the rock and yet flush during raining or dry season, it never withers.
The man-made stairs to reach the peak
To climb to the top of Olumo rock usually begins with a climb up the man-made stairs carved into the rock or climbing up the rock itself. The journey continues with climbs on irregularly sized rocks (or ladders which are now provided) through a narrow corridor that leads to the top of the rock.
Different sights caught at the peak of the rock
All along the way, catch sights of carvings in the rock. Guides are available.
So, next time you find yourself in Abeokuta; visit the Olumo Rock Tourist Complex. Have fun and enjoy NATURE!!!
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