Katsina town is the capital city of Katsina state in northern Nigeria. A town located near the Niger border. A major collection point for groundnuts and hides & skins which are sent to Kano for export. The town is the site of the Katsina Polytechnic College, the federal and Islāmic teacher-training colleges. The industries in this town include vegetable oil mills and a steel-rolling plant. Katsina is one of the few states in the country where crops are grown all the year round.
Known to be one of the most vibrant and strong commercial centres and is believed to be the strongest with the Hausa kingdoms in terms of commerce, trade, and craft. If you wish to make good use of your stay in Katsina with just a very little time, there is always a way. Here are hints on how to maximize your short stay there, check out this 48 Hours guide.
48 hours in Katsina: Day 1
You should plan to stay in Center of Katsina City and its districts; this is where the major interesting activities take place. There are a number of budget hotels around the area, such as Katsina Motel, Liyafa Palace Hotel, and Fadama View Motel Limited.
Morning: Nice breakfast and a visit to the Katsina Emirate
Katsina has a host of restaurants; Jay Jay Restaurant, Katsina City Restaurant, City Restaurant Exclusive and Magama Restaurant, where you can find both local and foreign dishes. Trying out their local dishes isn’t a bad idea. Most of them are tasty and delicious meals, definitely alien but titillating.
A good way to start your day would be to visit the Katsina Royal Palace ‘Gidan Korau’ a huge complex located in the centre of the ancient city. It is a symbol of culture, history, and traditions of ‘Katsinawa’. It is one of the oldest and among the first generation Palaces in Hausa land. The Palace was encircled with a rampart ‘Ganuwar Gidan Sarki’. The main gate which leads to the Palace is known as ‘Kofar Soro’ while the gate at the backyard is called ‘Kofar Bai’. The Emir’s residential quarters which is the epicentre of the Palace is a large compound built in the typical Hausa traditional architecture.
Afternoon: A stop at the National Museum and Relaxation.
National Museum Katsina State was established in 1921 and it is located within the premises of the Old Katsina Training College. It was declared a Historical Monument and a National Museum in 1989. Be prepared to devote your hours because there are a lot of activities that would engage you.
After a few hours at the National Museum, it would be advisable you take a short rest to get you prepared for the evening activities.
Evening: A visit to the Kaduna Dolls
Traditionally, Katsina dolls are used as teaching tools. They are the carved representations of the Katsinam, the spirit messengers of the universe. Small brightly painted wooden dolls are what come to mind when people hear the word Katsina. Katsina primarily refers to the supernatural beings who are believed to visit Hopi villagers during half of the year. Katsinas have the power to bring rain, exercise control over the weather, help in many of the everyday activities of the villagers, punish offenders of ceremonial or social laws, and, in general, to function as messengers between the spiritual domain and mortals.
48 Days in Katsina: Day 2
Morning: A visit to The Gobarau Minaret
Wouldn’t it be exciting if you pay a visit to the Gobarau Minaret built about 300 years ago? A structure built from baked clay and mud and has been a thing of wonder to the inhabitants of the city. Legend has it that in those days, because of its height, it was used for surveillance purposes from where warriors could see enemies advancing on the ancient city. The tower has now become a symbol of the city.
Over the centuries, it has been used as a central mosque, an Islamic centre for higher education, and a high tower for spotting invading armies. The Gobarau minaret is believed to be one of the tallest buildings in Katsina State. Though it was built for religious purposes, the Gobarau was converted to a security tower and it is now a tourist attraction. The tower was said to have collapsed due to neglect and lack of maintenance before it was rebuilt by Emir Muhammad Dikko. This ancient tower could be a beautiful sight for tourist.
Afternoon: A tour of the Katsina Teacher’s College
Take a tour of the Katsina Teacher’s College which was built in 1921 and it is reputed to be the oldest institution of higher learning in northern Nigeria. The old school building is another grand traditional architectural master class and a conspicuous symbol of culture and history; more so as it is now turned into Katsina Museum. It was built with red-baked mud and fired clay. Situated in Kofar Sauri area of the city, the red baked clay structure still tickles the fantasy of tourists. It remains a tourist attraction today and a place that visitors want to see when they come into Katsina town. It was declared a Historic Monument on April 23, 1959.
Evening: A Visit to Katsina Airport, Katsina City Gate and Attending the Durbar Festival
Visitors could start their tour around the city at Umar Musa Yaradua, also known as Katsina Airport, this is one of the modern breeds of airports Nigeria boasts of. With the standard of the terminal, the tarmac and runway, the control tower, access roads, and the Arrival and Departure sections, the airport is a masterpiece and pride to a northern Nigerians. Another free place would be to visit the city gates, a tourist attraction because of the wall that surrounds it with its seven different gates, the ancient seven gates of the city wall continue to fascinate visitors to the town, and something that far away tourists have heard about and wish to see.
After eating dinner, you could wrap up your visit finally by attending Durbar festival, which dates back hundreds of years. It records when the northern emirates used horses in warfare. During the parade, regiments would showcase their horsemanship, their preparedness for war and their loyalty to the emirate. Attending the Durbar festival is a special activity and free to all Katsina invites its guests and residents to this festival. It would be great to have a little fun at this festival.
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