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Ambukuthi Mala or Ambukuthy Hills is a mountain in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. It is 12 km from Sulthan Bathery and near Ambalavayal. Three pre-historic caves (Edakkal Caves) are located at a height of 1,000 metres on Ambukuthi mala. You have to get down at Edakkal and walk 1 km to reach these caves.
These caves are believed to be formed as a result of an earthquake and the name is derived from the rock that is supported in between other larger rocks (Edai + Kal = rock in between). One can see the Old and New Stone Age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves.
The cave drawings are at least 7000 years old and still older as they are from different periods, and depict pictures of ancient tribal kings, queens, other chieftains, elephants and other animals. A less ancient script from the 4th or 3rd century BC is also seen in the caves which is better conserved.
Legends and beliefs
There are many legends associated with the gigantic fissure at Edakkal. People believe that Lord Rama, one of the earlier visitors of this area, shot an arrow which pierced the mountain and created a deep cleft there. The name of the hills, Ambukuthy too is derived from this legend. (In Malayalam, Ambu means arrow and kuthy means `to pierce’ and hence the name.) Local people associate local deities with the caves and you can see many idols near the caves.
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad. It’s height is upto 2100m above the sea level. It is a part of the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamilnadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala, The main attraction of the peak is the heart shaped lake en route to the top of the peak is a major tourist attraction.The lake is believed to have never dried up.
District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipments on hire charges to the tourists. Permission from the forest office in Meppady is required for trekking up to the Chembra peak. You can also arrange yourself for trekking but you should accompany a guide provided by the DTPC
Edakkal Caves which are believed to have been formed around 8000 BC is famous for the pre-historic Edakkal literally translates into ‘a stone in between’ in Malayalam. According to popular legends associated with Edakkal, the caves were formed at the point struck by the arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the twin sons of Lord Rama.
The caves are on the Ambukuthi Mala at a height of 1000 meters. The big boulders are balanced on two relatively smaller boulders. Inside the caves are pictorial writings believed to be from neolithic man, evidence of the presence of a prehistoric civilization existing in this region.
The caves still remain a mystery to the archaeologists. The carvings are of Neolithic Age and Mesolithic Age. There are human and animal figures carvings on the rock walls depicting pre-historic period and civilized people.
The caves preserves prehistoric rock engravings including a human figure with headgear, a human figure on wheeled cart, images of a tribal king & queen, a deer and an elephant. Such stone age carvings are very rare and these are the only known examples in southern India.
The caves were discovered by the then Superintendent of Police of Malabar, Fred Fawcett. The place attracts many historians and archaeologist from around the world. Edakkal cave is 25 kms from Kalpetta and just 3 kms from Ambalavayal.
The mountains are ideal for trekking. The caves are a popular tourist attraction. The town is easily accessible. The best visiting hours are morning.
Pakshipathalam is a rock cave at the north end of Brahmagiri hill where various species of birds camp. Pakshipathalam is located in deep forest and atop the Brahmagiri hills at a height of 1700 m. The place is a delight for the lovers of birds since the deep caves found here are abode of a large range of birds. 4-km deep into the trek there is a watchtower offering vast bird-watching opportunity.
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