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Ogbunike Caves: The discovery in Anambra

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By Abraham Adekunle

The site holds spiritual significance of “Ime Ogbe” every year.

Beyond giving refuge in troubling times, the Ogbunike Caves are a spiritual bastion and a hidden gem from the Nigerian Eastern region. The Ogbunike Caves are a collection of caves which have been in use over centuries by local people for whom the site carries spiritual significance. The site was said to have shielded hundreds of people in the dark in 1968 and 1969 to escape harm during the Nigerian Civil War. For the locals and soldiers who hid and lived in the caves for weeks, it was a familiar territory. For outsiders, it is a complex maze of caves they could never understand.

It is also said that slave traders during the pre-colonial period hid in the caves from where they planned and executed their raids. The safety and refuge that the caves have provided across different periods of history is part of the reasons why they hold special importance to the indigenes of Anambra and, by extension, the Eastern region of Nigeria. The Ogbunike Caves are a system of many caves that are linked together by small tunnels and passages. They take their name from Ogbunike, a town in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State where they are located.

The caves are celebrated at “Ime Ogbe” every year.

Ogbunike Caves are associated with living traditions for centuries. The site still retains its historical and spiritual significance for the people. The caves are celebrated at an annual festival called “Ime Ogbe” in commemoration of their discovery. The biodiversity of the historical site is still intact. According to UNESCO, the integrity of the site can be attested to by the presence of the primary forests around the caves. The Nkisa River flows by the side of the caves into which the water from the caves drains and empties itself.

At that point, the difference in temperature is felt between the water in the river and the water from the rocky caves. The entire site is within the ranges of undulating hills and valleys which stretch across other communities and farmlands. The water around the cave is also thought to be divine. Water perpetually drops from the roof of the caves at some parts. Spiritualists believe that it is healing water and many come to collect the water for varying purposes.

It is a UNESCO Tentative World Heritage Site.

It is said that Ogbunike Caves were discovered by a man named Ukwa from the Umucheke family of Ifite-Ogbunike, about 4000 years ago. According to legends, the caves were created by a deity called Ogba who, they believe, lives within the caves. The caves draw much of their spiritual significance from this belief. Some of the indigenes come there to worship. They point to many phenomena in and around the caves as proof of their belief.

The caves are situated in a valley with tropical rainforest. To descend into the valley where the caves are located is to walk a lengthy walkway made of about 317 steps which was said to have been constructed by the state government in the 1990s. At the end of the walkway, there is an open space which is used as a reception point where visitors are required to remove their shoes by tradition. The main cave consists of a massive structure with a big open chamber of about 5m high, 10m wide, and 30m long at the entrance. There are ten tunnels at the main chamber leading to different directions. Within the tunnels, there are big chambers and other tunnels, some of which are interconnected.

Ogbunike Caves are one of the networks of caves in Nigeria.

The Ogbunike Caves are like the ancient cave temple of Arochukwu in Abia State of Nigeria. The caves are a symbol of justice. They are one of the networks of caves in the country. Ogbunike Caves have an attractive waterfall at the Northwest part of the cave that could be compared to Kalambo falls in East Africa. Beside the portion of the river flowing beside the caves, there is a table land of about 5-by-5 square meters used as a relaxation spot by visitors to the caves.


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Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
1 year ago

There are many of these significant site across the country which tells lots of historical events that has happened in the pass.All these site if properly utilise or given proper attention can generate huge revenue to the state.

DimOla
DimOla
Member
1 year ago

Ogbannike cave is such a place to visit for tourism since it hold spiritual significance and so many historical facts. This place should be maintained and culture and traditions preserved. It is a tourist center that is capable of generating enough revenue for the state.

Abusi
Abusi
Member
1 year ago

This is an historical piece of art, the igbunike cave is a thing of beauty. It describes how sacred the cave is with it’s spiritual significance. We really have wonderful tourist views.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
1 year ago

The Ogbunike Caves are not only a haven for those seeking sanctuary from difficult times, but they are also a spiritual stronghold and a prized possession of the Eastern area of Nigeria.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
Member
1 year ago

The Ogbunike Caves are a group of caves that have been utilized by local people for a number of generations. The location is considered to be spiritually significant by these individuals.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
Member
1 year ago

This cave was of great assistance, and it was a place that was well known to the locals as well as the soldiers who hid and lived in the caverns for several weeks.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
1 year ago

Wow, an important factor in the indigenes of Anambra attaching such a high value to the caves is the fact that they have consistently served as a haven and a place of safety throughout the course of history.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
1 year ago

The inhabitants still regard the location as having both historical and spiritual value, and this is something that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
1 year ago

It is crazy to think spiritualists have the conviction that water has curative properties, and many visitors come to gather it for a variety of reasons.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
1 year ago

Some of the indigenous people gather there to perform religious rituals, and they cite the various occurrences that can be seen in and around the caverns as evidence that what they believe is true.

SarahDiv
Member
1 year ago

Ogbunike cave is site that is good for tourism. It a site speaks history of the people in Ime Ogbe of Anambra and as such it helps to preserve history and culture of the people. Ogbunike Cave shall be use for tourism to generate revenue for the state. It should be maintained.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
1 year ago

Many of these historic sites across the nation recount past occurrences. These sites can provide enormous state revenue if correctly used.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
Member
1 year ago

The igbunike cave is a stunning work of art that also happens to be a significant part of human history. It explains the spiritual significance of the cave and how sacred it is. It’s true that our city boasts some stunning scenery.

Bola12
Bola12
Member
1 year ago

This cave helped the townspeople and the army who hid and lived in it for weeks.

theApr
theApr
Member
1 year ago

Approximately 4000 years ago, a man by the name of Ukwa from the Umucheke family of Ifite-Ogbunike is reported to have found the Ogbunike Caves. Legend has it that a deity known as Ogba, who is thought to reside within the caves, is responsible for the creation of the caves.

Remi1
Remi1
Member
1 year ago

The caves are located in a valley covered in tropical vegetation. The state government is rumored to have built a lengthy path with around 317 steps in the 1990s that leads down into the valley where the caverns are situated.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
1 year ago

All this place are to be remembered and use for tourists and history. It can also generate huge amount of revenue for the country

Haykaylyon26
Member
1 year ago

There are many historical place in nigeria which are even yet to be discover is well standard well it will serve as tourism where people will come and see and learn about history

jdpumping
Member
1 year ago

Ogbunike is one of the best place that helped during the wars that people went in for safe and it is a world heritage site.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
Member
1 year ago

Ogbunike cave is site that is good for tourism. It a site speaks history of the people in Ime Ogbe of Anambra and as such it helps to preserve history and culture of the people. Ogbunike Cave shall be use for tourism to generate revenue for the state. It should be maintained.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
1 year ago

The ogbenike cafe is an ancient cultural and traditions ought to be preserved in this place. It is a tourist hotspot that can provide the state with considerable income.