Edakkal caves certainly top the list of must see destinations for anyone who visits Wayanad. The caves are located 1,200 metres above sea level on Ambukuthi Mala 25km from Kalpetta, 12km from Sulthan Bathery, and just 3km away from Ambalavayal. They lie beside an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the ports of the Malabar coast. The name “Edakkal” literally means “a stone in between”, and this describes how the cave is formed by a heavy boulder straddling a massive fissure in a gigantic rock creating a covered space that is 96 feet long, 22 feet wide and 30 feet high. The Stone Age carvings of Edakkal are rare and are the only known examples from south India.
These caves were discovered in 1890 by Fred Fawcett and are replete with pre-historic line drawings, indicating that they were occupied by various sets of people at different times. The fascinating etchings have drawn the serious attention of archeologists and historians worldwide. They shed light on the life and culture of the ancient cavemen who lived in the Neolithic era or New Stone Age, from 4000 BC to 1700 BC.Amongst the 15 odd engravings in the cave, you will find engravings of a tribal queen, wheeled cart, a few male and female figures, an elephant and deer.
The place is also known by the name Ambukuthi Mala because it was believed that the fissure in the rock was formed by the striking of two arrows shot by the two sons of Lord Sri Ram. Until recent times pilgrims used to make their way to the caves annually to performe rituals in the name of the goddess Mudiampilli.
The caves can be accessed only by a kilometer long trek from Edakkal. Morning hours are the best time to visit the caves. The climb takes around 30 to 45 minutes. Entry tickets are available at a remote ticket office perched atop the mountain. Entry to the hill closes by 4 PM.
Edakkal Caves are located about 50km away from Banasura Hill and Eco Nature Resort, Wayanad.