8 TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN KANO
Kano state was created in 1967 and is one of the most popular states in Northern Nigeria. Bounded by Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi and Kaduna states, the ancient city is the commercial hub of the North. Asides being known for commerce and agriculture, the people of Kano are well known for preserving their cultural heritage.
Home to the longest bridge in West Africa, the Durbar festival, and very notable personalities, Kano state is a destination for people who would love to have an experience of a lifetime. To obtain the best from a trip to the Ancient city, here are a few places you should not miss to visit!
This is a fifteenth-century building recognized as a national monument by the Nigerian Government. ‘Gidan’ is an Hausa word which means ‘house’ and was formerly the home of the ancient Emirs. Presently, it holds artifacts that tell the story of the Kano people from the pre-colonial era and its transition to the modern city it is today. The museum is divided into 11 galleries, each telling their own unique story. An open space inside the museum facility serves as a stage for the Koroso dance performance, an indigenous dance of the Kano people.
An extension of this museum is the Gidan Dan Hausa museum, which holds rich information on the culture and heritage of the Hausa and Fulani people. It also showcases the history of the indigenous people of Kano over the centuries, including the Jihad period and the British invasion.
Also called Gidan Sarki, this place is the palace of the present Emir of Kano and has housed past Emirs since the fifteenth century. This enormous building is an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Kano town. Constructed by Muhammad Rumfa, the palace provides an insight into the typical architectural design that has been in existence for over five hundred years. The palace spans over 33 acres of land and is surrounded by walls that are up to 15 feet high. The resident population in the Emir’s private quarters is up to 200, while more than a thousand people live within the structure. A visit to the palace will expose you to the beautifully manicured gardens it is well known for.
KANO CITY WALL (KOFAR NA’ISA)
This is one cultural heritage the people of Kano hold dear to their hearts. Built over 600 years ago, the wall stands at 18 meters high and covers a radius of 14 kilometers. It served as an effective fortress and protected the people from their enemies during war. It is named one of the most impressive monuments in Western Africa.
BASHIR UTHMAN TOFA MOSQUE
This picturesque mosque is the most beautiful mosque in Nigeria. It is not just an architectural beauty; it is also an artistic marvel. The mosque is named after Alhaji Bashir Uthman Tofa, a prominent Northerner and is located in Gadun-Albasa, Kano. The mosque sets a display of the most beautiful marbles, and stained glass pieces merged to produce a regally captivating work of art.
KOFA MATA DYEING PITS
In ancient Kano, dyeing fabrics was a very lucrative business, and it remains a craft passed down to date. The dyeing pits have been in existence since 1498 and are an essential part of the life of Kano people. As a matter of fact, the craftsmen still use the same practices as used several years ago and the results are still perfect. Regardless of their archaic techniques, the products of their works are still appreciated and in high demand. The dye pits still attract a host of tourists; most of whom end up learning some dyeing techniques. You’re in for a great time when you visit these sites.
TIGA DAM AND ROCK CASTLE HOTEL
Tiga dam is one of the most popular sites of attractions in Kano, attracting numerous tourists from time to time. The dam is a major reservoir of the Kano River and serves as a source of irrigation to farmers in Kano and its environment. Visitors who come to the dam can either decide to swim, go on a boat cruise or just take cool pictures. At the end of the dam is the Rock Castle Hotel, which was built to host Queen Elizabeth and her entourage during their visit to Nigeria in 1960.
Also known as Gidan Zoo or Audu Bako Zoo, this site is located along Zoo Road, Kano. The Zoo was established in 1971 and is the first Zoo in Nigeria. This Zoo is home to lots of wild animals, including a leopard, lions, giraffes, zebra, hippopotamus, hyenas, several species of monkeys, and a gigantic elephant, as well as a host of other animals. Asides hosting a wealth of different animal species, the Zoo also boasts of a botanical garden and a wide array of trees that provide comfort for relaxation.
KURMI MARKET (KASUWA KURMI)
This crafts market is said to be the oldest market in Nigeria and one of the oldest markets in Africa. Established about 400 years ago by Emir Muhammad Rumfa to promote the Trans-Saharan trade, the market remains a top source for the best crafts of the Northern region. Here, you would find several artifacts and handmade items ranging from pieces of jewelry, calabashes, rattan bags, baskets, and other works of art. If you’re thinking of getting a souvenir to mark your visit to Kano, then this is the best place to go.
Other places of great interest include the Kano Central mosque located next to the Emirs palace, Dala hills, Minjibir resort park, Kusalla Dam and fishing center, Murtala Mohammed Library, Roxy Amusement Park, Challawa Gorge Dam and a host of other fascinating places!
Don’t forget to book your flight with Travel Beta whenever you wish to visit this wonderful city.