Touba, Senegal

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Touba, Senegal

Region: Touba, Senegal is located in the Diourbel Region


Geographic Coordinates: 14.866700, -15.883300
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 40.0°C (77°F to 104°F)
Climate: Dry and hot climate with a rainy season from July to September.
Population: 529176
Language: Wolof

Touba is a city in Senegal, Located in West Africa’s central part. It is the second-largest city after Dakar and is known as the holy city of Mouridism, A Sufi religious sect originating from Senegal. Sheikh Amadou Bamba founded Touba after his exile to Gabon by French colonial authorities due to his opposition to their rule. The Grand Mosque of Touba is the most notable landmark and can hold over 7, 000 worshippers at once. It was built entirely with local materials and represents Mouridism’s resilience against colonial oppression.

The annual pilgrimage called Magal de Touba takes place on the 18th day of Safar every year and lasts for two days. Millions of followers come from all over the world to pay homage to Sheikh Amadou Bamba through various religious rituals such as prayers and visiting holy sites. Touba serves as an economic hub for Senegal with its bustling markets selling fabrics, Grains, Spices, And other food items. The marketplaces are lively places where vendors haggle with customers while street performers entertain passersby.

Darou Khoudoss Mosque houses Sheikh Ibrahima Fall’s tomb – one of Sheikh Amadou Bamba’s closest disciples who played a significant role in spreading Mouride teachings across West Africa. Touba has also been at the forefront when it comes to infrastructure development projects such as road construction and establishment of a university offering courses in engineering, Law, Medicine, Business among others. Touba holds great significance both for religious reasons through its architecture markets annual pilgrimage Darou Khoudoss Mosque & economic reasons through its bustling markets & infrastructure development projects like University establishment while still preserving its heritage & culture.



Important Landmarks

  1. Great Mosque of Touba: This is the largest mosque in Senegal and one of the most significant religious sites for the Mouride Brotherhood.
  2. Touba Grand Magal: This annual pilgrimage attracts millions of Mouride followers to Touba to celebrate their founder’s life and teachings.
  3. Keur Serigne Touba: It is a museum dedicated to Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, the founder of Mouridism.
  4. Darou Khoudoss: This religious site is believed to be a place where miracles take place, and many people come here seeking blessings.
  5. Lake Retba (Lac Rose): Located about 30 km northeast of Dakar, this pink lake is a popular tourist attraction due to its unique color caused by high salt content.
  6. Joal-Fadiouth: A small fishing village that sits on two islands connected by a wooden bridge over mangrove swamps; it’s known for its stunning scenery and seafood cuisine.
  7. Sine-Saloum Delta National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich biodiversity with various species such as dolphins, monkeys, manatees, hippos living there along with various bird species like pelicans and flamingos etc., making it an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts as well as nature lovers generally speaking.
  8. The House Of Cheikh Ibra Fall : This house was built by Cheikh Ibrahima Fall in 1895 when he returned from his pilgrimage trip to Mecca; it has become one of the most important places associated with him since then.

Please note that these are not all there is in terms of landmarks or tourist attractions present within Touba or nearby places but rather just some examples thereof.


Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
    • Produces crops such as peanuts, millet, maize, and rice
  2. Trade
    • Has many markets where traders sell everything from foodstuffs to clothing
  3. Construction
    • Becoming increasingly important due to growing population and expanding infrastructure needs
  4. Tourism
    • Plays a significant role in Touba’s economy as one of West Africa’s most important religious sites
    • Thousands of visitors come each year to pay homage to Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké or attend the annual Grand Magal pilgrimage
  5. Education
    • Has become an essential industry due to several Islamic schools located in the city
  6. Transportation
    • Plays a vital role as it is at the crossroads of several major highways making it an essential hub for transportation across Senegal and beyond
  7. Service Industries
    • Various service industries available in Touba like banking services or telecommunication services which contribute significantly towards its economic growth

Noteable History

  1. Amadou Bamba founded the Mouride brotherhood and made Touba its spiritual capital in 1887.
  2. The Grand Mosque of Touba was built by Amadou Bamba’s followers in 1926 and is one of Africa’s largest mosques.
  3. The Battle of Dakar occurred in 1940 when French colonial authorities tried to arrest Amadou Bamba but were met with resistance from his followers.
  4. Sheikh Ibrahima Fall was a prominent disciple and successor to Amadou Bamba who helped spread the Mouride brotherhood throughout West Africa.
  5. Magal de Touba is celebrated every year on the tenth day after Ashura, where millions of Mouride pilgrims gather to commemorate Amadou Bamba’s return from exile.
  6. Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké Khadim Rassoul is a current leader within the Mouride brotherhood who has modernized its institutions while upholding traditional values and practices.
  7. Many leaders within Senegal’s independence movement were influenced by or connected to the Mouride brotherhood, including Léopold Sédar Senghor and Abdoulaye Wade.
  8. In recent years, there has been significant investment in developing infrastructure and promoting economic growth in Touba as a hub for trade and commerce.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Great Mosque of Touba: This is the largest mosque in West Africa and the most important religious site in Senegal.
  2. Touba Caliphate Museum: A museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Mouride Brotherhood, which is based in Touba.
  3. Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mausoleum: The final resting place of the founder of the Mouride Brotherhood.
  4. Cultural Center Sheikh Ibrahima Niass: A cultural center that showcases traditional Senegalese art, music, and dance.
  5. Lebougui Market: A bustling market where visitors can buy traditional Senegalese clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs.
  6. Darou Khoudoss Pilgrimage Site: A pilgrimage site located just outside of Touba that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
  7. Keur Serigne Sam Mbaye Cultural Center: This cultural center showcases traditional African art and music performances.
  8. Kawsara Fall – Located about 30km from Touba this waterfall offers a beautiful natural setting for picnics or swimming.
  9. Lac Rose (Pink Lake) – Located about 2 hours away from Touba this lake is famous for its pink color caused by a unique combination of bacteria and salt concentration.


Sports Teams

  1. ASC Touba: ASC Touba is a football club located in Touba that competes in the Senegalese Premier League. The team was founded back in 1987 and has since become one of the most successful clubs in Senegal, winning multiple championships.
  2. ASFA Yennenga de Touba: ASFA Yennenga de Touba is a basketball club based in Touba that participates in the Senegalese Basketball League. The team was established by members of the Mouride brotherhood who were passionate about basketball.
  3. Taekwondo Club de la Ville Sainte de Touba: This taekwondo club was created to promote martial arts among young people living within and outside of Touba.
  4. Racing Club de Dakar (Touba): Racing Club de Dakar (Touba) is a cycling team based out of Dakar but has roots from different parts including toube which compete at Tour du Sénégal every year.


Cultural Events

  1. Grand Magal of Touba: This is the most significant religious event in Touba and Senegal. It commemorates the exile of Serigne Touba from Senegal to Gabon in 1895.
  2. Gamou: This is a religious festival that celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Daaka: This is a spiritual retreat that takes place every year in Touba for ten days.
  4. Korite: Also known as Eid al-Fitr, this festival marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal month.
  5. Tabaski: Also known as Eid al-Adha, this festival commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail to Allah.
  6. Independence Day: On April 4th every year, Senegal celebrates its independence from France with parades and festivities.
  7. Saint Louis Jazz Festival: Although not held in Touba specifically, this jazz festival takes place annually in Saint Louis which is only a few hours away from Touba by car or bus.
  8. Dakar Biennale (Dak’Art): This contemporary art exhibition showcases African artists’ work across various mediums like painting, sculpture, photography etc., it’s held every two years on odd-numbered years since its inception in 1990.

Cuisine

  • Touba, Senegal is renowned for its traditional cuisine that features rice, fish, and vegetables. The local dishes are quite popular and include Thieboudienne, Yassa, Mafe, Ndambé, and Fataya.
  • Thieboudienne is the national dish of Senegal and comprises rice mixed with fish, veggies and spices.
  • Yassa is a dish prepared using marinated chicken or fish in a sauce made from onions, mustard and lemon juice.
  • Mafe is a peanut butter stew usually served with beef or chicken.
  • Ndambé is a bean stew often served as street food.
  • Fataya are fried dough filled with meat or vegetables.
  • There are several restaurants in Touba that serve these dishes such as:
    • Restaurant Chez Ndiaga which is known for its Thieboudienne
    • Restaurant La Terrasse offers various local dishes including Yassa and Mafe
    • Restaurant La Casamance serves Ndambé along with other traditional Senegalese cuisine
    • Le Bistro du Lac Rose which is famous for Fataya
    • Restaurant Al Khaima which serves grilled meats such as brochettes (skewers)

    Parks and Recreation

    1. Grand Mosque of Touba: This is the largest mosque in West Africa and one of the most important religious sites in Senegal.
    2. Lake Retba: Also known as the Pink Lake, this saltwater lake is famous for its pink color caused by high levels of algae.
    3. Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and work of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, the founder of the Mouride Brotherhood.
    4. Parc de Hann: This park offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
    5. Fathala Wildlife Reserve: Located near Touba, this reserve offers guided safaris where visitors can see animals such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.
    6. Golf Club de Dakar – Technopole: The golf course located in Dakar is about 2 hours away from Touba but it’s worth mentioning since it’s one of the few golf courses in Senegal that tourists can visit.
    7. Horseback Riding Tours: Visitors can take horseback riding tours around Touba to explore its natural beauty while enjoying a unique experience on horseback.
    8. Local Markets: There are several local markets around Touba where visitors can buy souvenirs such as traditional clothing or jewelry made by local artisans.

    Suitcase

    Its All About The Journey.


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