Tucked deep in the south-west, you’ve probably passed through Osun state on your way to other places in Nigeria. You probably didn’t spare the state another glance. Apart from playing host to Obafemi Awolowo University, arguably the best federal university in Nigeria (haters will say it’s a lie), Osun state is also home to a number of world-class attractions. Here’s a couple of them.
1. Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove
In the early 20th Century, every town in Yorubaland had a sacred grove. Sadly, many of these groves have been abandoned. Osun-Osogbo was founded about 400 years ago in Osogbo, the state’s capital and hosts the largest and last remaining major sacred grove.
In the sanctuary, there are numerous sculptures and artworks in honour of the goddess Osun and other Yoruba deities. It also hosts two palaces, five sacred places and nine worship points along the banks of the River Osun.
2. Opa Oranmiyan (Oranmiyan’s staff)
This site, whose name translates to Oranmiyan’s staff (no, not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter) is an obelisk situated in Ile-Ife, Osun State. The 5.5 metre high edifice is thin granite column and was said to have been constructed in the year 1300. It also has a pretty interesting origin story.
3. Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls
It is said that the pristine waterfalls were discovered by a daughter of Ododuwa in 1140 AD (almost 1000 years ago). Other accounts claim it was discovered by hunters in the same year. Whichever account you believe, one thing is clear: Erin Ijesha is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Nigeria. A collection of cascades, this 7-part waterfall paints the most idyllic scene. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even climb all seven levels of the waterfall.
4. Oduduwa Shrine and Grove
Many people believe that the Oduduwa World Temple and Grove is the hsitroical site where Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race arrived in Ile-Ife. It’s also said to be where he’s buried. The site features a life-sized statue of Oduduwa, his legendary chain and staff and a map of Africa carved in stone.
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