By Adedayo Christiana
Nigeria is immeasurably blessed by God, especially with captivating and attractive landmarks and tourism sites that cannot be wished away. One can’t take a glance without wanting to take a critical look.
Tourism has become an increasingly vital part of the Nigeria economy as it brings in money and provides jobs for the local residents.
Among all tourist centre is the incredible IKOGOSI warm spring. Legends have it that the fall is a living spirit. Once one approaches a fall, one is faced with bliss indescribable and an aura too soothing to be contaminated by any form of pollution.
Of course there are many myths associated with the Ikogosi warm spring.
The Ikogosi warm spring is located at Ikogosi, a town in Ekiti State, southwestern Nigeria. The warm and cold spring of Ikogosi flows parallel and meets somewhere to form a confluence, with each maintaining its thermal attributes. The warm spring has a temperature of 70oc at the source and 37oc after meeting the cold spring. The meeting point of the warm and cold spring is a unique attraction to tourists.
At the meeting point is an ordinary tree and a plam tree growing simultaneously from the same root. The warm spring is belived to have healing powers and its efficiency is attested to by the indigenes of the Ikogosi community. The water is believed to be a good cure for hypertension, arthritis and barrenness. There is an open field around the Ïkogosi warm spring where tourist can take pictures and do other things. The area also has a wooden bridge for pedestrians to get to the spring and thached roof hut for relaxation.
Myths have it that many years ago, a farmer called Olosun married two wives, Awele and Awon, who never saw eye to eye; they always have issues to quarrel over. Awele was hot tempered, while Awon was calm. One day, they got into a fight and using their magical powers they eventually turned into waters says the legend. Awele became the warm water while Awon is said to be the cold water at IKOGOSI. Upon getting back to see what had become of his wives, Olosun transformed into a rock to guide them. Olosun therefore became the hills surrounding the spring.
It was said that a hunter discovered the spring while on an expedition and upon his return to the village, he reported is findings. Subsequently, the community started worshipping the water because of its supposed therapeutic and curative ability.
Other stories said that a Baptist Reverend, John. S. McGee, on hearing about the Ikogosi spring and the powers the residents believed it wields, went to and discovered that “this place can serve a great purpose”.
The water had been bottled for commercial purposes by United African Company (UAC) in conjunction with the state government under the board name of “GOSSY WATER”. The word gossy is an acronym from the town “IKOGOSI”. The warm water is piped directly from the source to the company. The company is located about 1kilometre to the site.
There are two entrances to the spring area. The first is the main gate which is the traditional entrance before the transformation, while the second is the natural pathway made of strong wood construction right from the new chalets straight into the warm spring.
In a short encomium, IKOGOSI is a miracle of nature and sacred place where God exhibited his power of creativity.