Edakkal Caves are two natural caves located 1000 metres high on Ambukutty Mala 25 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India’s Western Ghats. They lie on an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the Malabar coast ports. Inside the caves are pictorical writings believed to be from neolithic man, evidence of the presence of a prehistoric civilisation existing in this region. Such stone age carvings are very rare and these are the only known examples in southern India.
These are not technically caves but rather a cleft or rift approximately 96 feet by 22 feet, a 30 foot deep fissure caused by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. On one side of the cleft a rock weighing several tons has fallen over the fissure forming a roof. The carvings are of human and animal figures, as well as of tools used by humans and symbols, suggesting they were created by a highly civilised prehistoric people.
The petroglyphs inside the cave are of at least three distinct types. The oldest may date back over 8000 years ago. Evidence indicates that the Edakkal caves had been inhabited at several different times in history.
The caves were accidentally discovered by Fred Fawcett in 1890 who immediately understood their anthropological and historical importance. He subsequently wrote an article about them, attracting the attention of scholars.
- Approximate time required to climb till top of the hill and down: 3-4 hours.
- Entry to the hill closes by 4 PM.
- Departmental Jeeps can be hired to travel initial few km till the foot of the hill..
- Other nearby places- Soojippara water falls, Sultan Bather, Matunga Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Bus – Plenty of local bus services are available for transportation between the townships. But if you want to go to some tourist places you have to rely on a taxi.
- Autorickshaw – Autorickshaws are cheaper compared to taxis and can be used to reach the interior places from the townships.
- Taxi – Local taxis are also available at cheap rates (In Wayanad, the term Taxi is mostly in reference with Jeep).
- Car – You can hire a car from most of the townships if you want to travel effortlessly.
- Walk – Many places of attractions are nearby the towns so you could walk between them.