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Edakkal Caves in Kerala

The Edakkal Caves are a pair of natural caves that are located near Edakkal, which is situated in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. The caves are located about 1,200 m above sea level in the Ambukuthi Mala Mountain in the Western Ghats. Inside the caves, there are petroglyphs that date back to 6,000 BC. The Edakkal Caves are extremely significant as they are the only known examples of Stone Age carving in South India.

The history of the Edakkal Caves is quite interesting. The caves were discovered in the 1890s by the Superintendent of Police of the Malabar district, Fred Fawcett. He was on a hunting trip in the area when he came across a stone axe from the Neolithic Age in a coffee estate. After making a few enquiries, he headed toward the mountains in the Wayanad district and came across the caves.

Providing knowledge about who our ancestors were and how they lived is what makes the trip to the Edakkal Caves worthwhile. The Edakkal Caves’ biggest attraction is definitely the pictorial writings. The walls of the caves are lined with ancient stone scripts, geometric shapes as well as human and animal figures. There are ancient Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions in the caves. The cave is divided into two sections – the lower chamber and the upper chamber. The lower chamber is smaller and is 18 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 10 feet high. The upper chamber is considerably bigger as it measures 96 feet in length, 22 feet in width, and 18 feet in height. The historical and anthropological significance of the site has made it very popular amongst students, historians, as well as people interested in history.

Trekking to the cave is also a major attraction in its own right. Since the cave is located near the top of the Ambukuthi Mala Mountain, it offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Precautions

  • There is a very steep climb to the caves so senior citizens and very young children are advised avoid the trek.
  • There is a very good chance that the rocks and stairs that make up the trek will either be wet or covered with moss. Hence caution is advised when climbing them.
  • Visitors are advised to wear a comfortable pair of shoes and carry with them plenty of water to ensure that they are hydrated.

Edakkal Caves Timings

The Edakkal Caves are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Edakkal Caves Entry Fee

  • Entry fee for the Edakkal Caves is Rs. 20 for Indians
  • For Foreigners the fees in Rs. 40 
  • Still cameras fee is Rs. 25,
  • Cam- Order Fee is Rs. 100.
  • Vehicle Fee – It costs Rs. 70 to take a jeep shuttle that will take you close to the caves.

Where is Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves are 1000 metres high on Ambukutty Mala 25 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala
Address : Edakkal Hermitage, Wayanad, Kerala – 673592

Edakkal Caves Map

Accommodation

There are a number of budget accommodations located around the Edakkal Caves. One of the closest is the Edakkal Hermitage, which is located just a couple of minutes away from the caves. There is also Crescent Residency, which is located a few kilometers from the caves.

Facts

  • The caves are believed to be situated on an ancient trade route that connected the settlements in the area of Mysore to the ports along the Malabar Coast.
  • The Edakkal Caves are not exactly caves. They are actually a cleft/rift with a huge rock that forms the roof.
  • Many historians believe that there can be a link between the petroglyphs in the caves and the Indus Valley Civilization.

How to Reach

By Air: The nearest international airport to the Edakkal Caves is the Calicut International Airport, which is about 110 km away from the caves.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode, which is about 100 km away from the caves.

By Road: There are jeeps that take visitors near the caves. The visitors need to walk the remaining distance.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Edakkal Caves is from December to May.


Image credits: Satheesan.vnDrajay1976നിരക്ഷരൻ.

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Published On: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015