Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves are two natural caves located 1,200 metres above sea level on Ambukutty Mala 25 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India’s Western Ghats. They lie besides an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the ports of Malabar coast. Inside the caves are pictorial writings believed to be dating to at least 5000 BC, from the Neolithic man, indicating the presence of a prehistoric civilization or settlement in this region. The Stone Age carvings of Edakkal are rare and are the only known examples from south India.The two caves located at a height of 1000m on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal can be accessed only by a 1 km trek trail from Edakkal. Edakkal literally means ‘a stone in between’.
It is a prehistoric rock shelter formed naturally out of a strange disposition of three huge boulders making one to rest on the other two, with its bottom jutting out in between and serving as the roof. Edakkal rock engravings stand out distinct among the magnitude of prehistoric visual archives of paintings and graphic signs all over the world.
Thousands of years ago in a rock shelter at Edakkal, stone age people recorded their disquiet and anxiety at the social changes brought about by Iron Age technology. In 1910 an amateur archaeologist rediscovered their work and sought to bring it to the attention of professional colleagues and the general public. What makes the Edakkal caves important today.

For most visitors the opportunity to see for oneself something as rare and special as the Edakkal carvings is reason enough to visit the cave site. And these carvings are certainly noteworthy for their rarity alone as there are very few places in India at which prehistoric drawings in stone have been found. It is not only their rarity, however, that makes the Edakkal carvings so important, but their quality and quantity which is also quite remarkable.
The walls on both sides of the Edakkal rock shelter are embroidered up to a height of over four meters, and down below the present floor level of the cave with deeply carved motifs and signs which look particularly dramatic in the cool, mellow sheen of the damp interior.

The rock surface is chock-full of linear motifs most of which form a vertically carved jumble of deep incisions so congested that they are uncountable, a baffling magic of lines in the midst of which many weird-shaped figures seem to be emerging and disappearing, their forms melding and changing in different lights. We can identify crosses, triangles and tridents; squares, some with inner crosses, and a rectangle divided into nine square-shaped chambers; stars, wheels and quatrefoils; spirals, whorls and volutes; plant motifs, pot-shaped items; various animals including ones resembling foxes, dogs and dear; and the unmistakable outline of an elephant.


Town:
The caves can be accessed easily from anywhere in Kerala and Wayanad as it is well connected by a wide network of roads. The nearest town to Edakkal Caves is Sultan Bathery which is 12 km from Edakkal Caves. It is the nearest town on the Kerala - Karnataka border. The route from Sultan Bathery to Edakkal is Sultan Bathery – Meenangady, Meenangady – Kolagappara Junction . From Kolagappara, one have to turn left and Edakkal caves is about 4kms from this road.
Airport:
The nearest airport is Karipur Airport, 23 kms from Edakkal Caves. The airport is connected to many cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and Airline services are available from Karipur to many gulf countries.
Railway Station:
The nearest railway station is located at a distance of 97 kilometers at Kozhikode.
District:
Wayanad
Longitude:
11.625782
Latitude:
76.235788

Tourist Place to Visit in Wayanad District, Kerala