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Edakkal caves- View of the surroundings from top of the caves

edakkal caves

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Edakkal caves- trekking trail from ticket counter to caves

Edakkal caves are a group of two

caves which are famous throughout

the world for the 6000 years old

Neolithic inscriptions found on their


These caves are located 1200m

above the sea level on the top of

Ambukuthi hills or Ambukuthi Mala

which lies at a distance of three kms

from Ambalavayal in Wayanad.

There are many legends associated with the Edakkal caves and the Ambukuthi Mala.
The name Ambukuthi mala is connected to the local legend which says that the caves were formed by arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Sri Rama of the Ramayana. It is also believed that Lord Rama killed Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, in the narrow fissure of Edakkal cave.

Another local legend associated with this place is of Kutti Chatan (the little devil of Malabar) with the goddess Mudiampilli, and until recently local people used to undertake an annual pilgrimage to the peak of the hill to perform a puja (ritual offering) in her honour.


Edakkal meaning “stone in between” are

actually not the caves but rather a cleft

or rift which are formed by a heavy

boulderstraddling a fissure in the rock.

On one side of the cleft is a rock weighing

several tons that covers the cleft to form

the 'roof' of the cave.

These two caves are on two different levels.

The lower one measures about 18 feet long

by 12 feet wide and 10 feet high.

The entry to this cave is through an

opening of 5 x 4 feet and this cave supports

the upper main cave.

The route to the upper cave is through an

aperture in the roof of the lower cave

which leads the visitors to the next level.

The upper cave is about 96 feet long, 22 feet wide and 18 feet high.

Light enters the cave through a big gap​ at the right-hand corner of the roof where​ the boulder does not touch the facing wall. The pictorial carvings are present on the walls ​of this cave.

These caves are considered to be one of the earliest centres of Human Habitation in the world. The rare Stone Age carvings of Edakkal are the only known examples from south India. This fascinating Neolithic cave sight, which has drawn serious attention of archaeologists and historians worldwide through the pictorial carvings found on its walls, indicates the prehistoric civilization or settlements in this region.

According to the various visiting archeologists, it was not just one culture but an array of cultures has been born here. It’s an incredible view to see a mystifying combination of infinite number of lines taking different forms and figures depending on the intensity of light flashing through the caves.

With at least three distinct sets of carvings,

the earliest thought to date back over

6000 years, it is assumed that the Edakkal

caves have been inhabited at various stages

in History.
It is believed that Human habitation has

been here for at least 10 centuries before

Inside the cave you will find ancient stone

scripts, pictorial wall inscriptions of Human

and animal figures, wheels, bows, knives,

trees, tools used by humans and of symbols yet to be deciphered.

The caves were discovered in 1890 by Fred Fawcett, the then superintendent of police of the erstwhile Malabar state. Fred Fawcett during his hunting trip in this surrounding area happened to see a Neolithic Celt (stone axe) in the coffee estate of Colin Mackenzie. Fred was an enthusiast of pre-history and this incident increased his curiosity about the place. He made local enquiries and went on to explore the high ranges of Wayanad further. He went past the thick foliage in the Ambukuthy Mala and this is where he was shown the Edakkal rock-shelter situated on the western side of Edakkalmala. He immediately recognised their anthropological and historical importance as a habitat of Neolithic (i.e. late Stone Age, c4000BC to c1700BC) people on the basis of the nature of pictures on the cave walls.
It was an exciting discovery, as these were the first specimens of abraded drawings found. He wrote an article about them, attracting the attention of archaeologists and historians across the world.

The recent researches and excavations made at the Edakkal Caves in September 2009, indicate its probable links with Indus valley civilization. Historian M.R. Raghava Varier of the Kerala state archaeology department identified a sign “a man with jar cup” that is the most distinct motif of the Indus valley civilization and the presence of such signs indicates that the Harappan civilisation (2300 BC to 1700 BC) was active in south India too. Iravatham Mahadevan, a scholar of Indus valley and Brahmi scripts said the findings were very significant called it a "major discovery

In 2007, a major effort had been initiated by several archaeologists to have the UNESCO declare the site of the Edakkal Caves a World Heritage Centre.

In order to reach the caves, it requires

a trekking up the hill which takes about

45 minutes on a regular day and may

take few hours during holidays when

there are too many visitors.

Private vehicles are allowed only till parking area and after that visitors have to either climb up a relatively easier trek or can get on to one of the jeeps arranged by the tourism administration.

​This leads to the base point of the

trek where ticket counter is located.

To visit the Edakkal caves visitors have

to pay a nominal fee by buying the

tickets here.

The path from the ticket counter to the

cave entrance is a combination of paved 

trails, steps made of stone, scrambling

through boulders and climbing metal


Apart from its historic importance,

Edakkal caves also offer the views of

lush greenery and scenic landscape

around and the cool breeze that carries

the aroma of coffee. 

There is a telescope installed near the caves which offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

If you think of Wayanad, then Eddakal caves must be in your list.

Edakkal Caves Timings:-
Caves are closed for tourists on Mondays and other national holidays such as Republic day- 26 Jan, May day-1 May, Independence day-15 Aug, Gandhi Jayanti- 2 Oct.

Edakkal Caves Entry fee:-
Adult- 10 Rs,
Child- 5 Rs,
Camera- 25Rs,
Video camera- 100rs
Edakkal caves are a no plastic zone and if you are carrying plastic water bottle, a refundable deposit have to be paid at the counter next to the entry ticket counter. After returning show the bottle with the deposit label to get the refund back.

Edakkal Caves Distance:-

Kalpetta: 28 kms, Sulthan Bathery: 12 kms, Mananthavady: 45 kms

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Edakkal cave- path from lower cave to upper cave


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Medical Emergency:- 04936-203906, 04935-240390

Police Control Room:- 04936 - 202525
General Hospital: 04936 - 202037, 255228, 221444

Time Zone:-GMT+5.30

Language:-    Malayalam, English and Hindi 

Currency:-    Indian Rupee, Other currencies can                            be changed at various authorized                              centers.

Weather:-  Summer (April to September): 22°C - 32° C
                  Winter (November to February): 12°C - 19° C


Best time to Visit:-  Throughout the Year.

Distances:-  Coachin- 300 km, Kozhikode- 85 km,

                      Bangalore- 270 km,Mysore-120km,


Edakkal caves- Metal ladders

WAYANAD :- God's Own District in God's Own Country

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Edakkal caves- ticket counter and the base point of the trekking to Caves

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Edakkal cave entrance
Edakkal caves- Neolithic pictorial carvings on the walls
Rock forming the roof of the top Edakkal cave