snapshots of Edakkal Caves
Experience Edakkal Caves in Wayanad, Kerala
Edakkal Caves? This was the last option given to me to visit on our last day at Wayanad, Kerala for our 2 days and 2 nights stay. For those who have not read my previous post, I visited Kerala for 2 weeks as part of the Kerala Blog Express 3 wherein 30 bloggers from 25 countries around the world were given their trip of a lifetime in various districts all throughout the state of Kerala, India.
The 30 Bloggers were divided into two groups wherein the first group will be visiting a dam, experience bamboo rafting, etc…not really physically draining. I would want to join this group, but they put a limit of 12 bloggers in this group due to the capacity of the vehicle used. Well, I left with no choice but to join the second group which will be visiting places including the Edakkal Caves. Why I was hesitant for this trip? They told me that visiting Edakkal Caves would include trekking for more than 1 km uphill.I seemed not to like a tedious trek at that moment. But I don’t want to waste my time sleeping at the hotel, so, there goes my experience at Edakkal Caves in Wayanad , Kerala.
towards Edakkal Caves, steep…very steep trekking, yet, we can still manage to smile and laugh
Edakkal, Ambukuthi Mala
The cave was located in Ambukuthi Mala, the tallest mountain in the district of Wayanad. Upon reaching the parking at the base of the hill where Edakkal Caves was located you can already spot several shops selling souvenir and food items.
We started to walk from the parking area to reach the base of the hill where the cave was located. The trek uphill was difficult.While I knew I can do it, but I was also aware that it would be challenging. While doing the trek, I thought that my lungs would simply give in. What was aggravating was that everyone said that the climb was 1km, when it was clearly more. But thanks to laughter and fun. In fact was even able to manage to crack a few jokes while trekking. But here’s the heaven’s answer to my unspoken prayers, there was a car coming and Susanna a fellow blogger tried her luck to ask for a ride — and she got it – with us! Lol! Late that we knew, the car owner was the manager of the place. He brought us directly at the base of the hill where we still need to climb 300 plus steps to reach Edakkal Caves.
our initial approach to Edakkal Caves…
At the base, one must pay for an entrance fee as follows: Adult -Rs. 20; Children (below 5 years) – free; between 5 to 15 years – Rs 10; Still Camera – Rs 30; Movie camera – Rs 150. Also, littering is not allowed in the place, so all pet bottles are marked with a sticker and monitored afterwards.
The 300 plus steps to the Edakkal Caves
After getting our ticket, we start climbing the steeper steps towards Edakkal Caves. There were some reminders at the base that the track was not recommended for people with heart problems. But I guess, reaching the caves will always be possible even to those who are in their middle age for as long as they take their own pace. Anyone can stop and rest at some points .
Reaching the cave was very rewarding. Before getting into the cave, I pause and took a time to marvel the beautiful vista offered by the place from the top.
The stone in between…
The Edakkal Cave Structure
The name of Edakkal Caves literally means `a stone in between’. As the name indicates, it seems that one large rock stuck over between two big boulders ones to create a cave. Experts are of the opinion that Edakkal Caves is not a cave in the real sense. It is a fissure in the rocks which had been created due to natural causes/ changing climatic conditions. According to our guide, the split in the rock is about 22 ft. in width and 96 ft. in length. The depth of the cleft extends to over 30 ft. Mild sun rays penetrating into it make the place even more beautiful.
An iron railing was placed inside the Edakkal Caves, protecting the carvings on the walls from damage.
Edakkal Caves Rock Engravings
The walls of Edakkal Caves were covered with various engravings, prehistoric line drawings. These markings were representations that the caves were occupied by various sets of people during various stages of history. There was a guide inside who talks about these etchings, but he speaks too fast and with a low voice so it was quite difficult to understand. So I just made some clarifications with our own guide. I also bought a small booklet at the ticket booth for information about the cave for 20 INR. For some reasons, mobile phones are not allowed to use inside the caves for picture taking.
As pointed by the guide, three distinct sets of petroglyphs can be seen in the caves and some depictions are as old as 7000 years. It is said that Edakkal Caves is the only known place for stone age carvings in South India. The guide further added that the carvings belonging to the Neolithic and Mesolithic Age include ancient stone scripts, ancient weaponry figures, symbols, figures of various animals and human beings etc.
The rock surface is full of linear motifs and one can see weird shaped figures, crosses, triangles, tridents, squares, stars, wheels, spirals, plant motifs, pot shaped items, various animals and human figures. Many of the human figures have raised hair, some have masked faces and all these figures are eye-catching and have archaeological significance. Apart from these pictorial carvings, ancient inscriptions, including a Tamil Brahmi script have been identified from the caves. (DMC Edakkal Booklet)
The guide also pointed some images of a tribal king, a queen, a child, a deer and an elephant on the wall. A human figure with headgear, another on a wheeled cart and some male and female figures too can be seen. All these symbols suggest the presence of prehistoric men.
Yours truly together with other bloggers and Kerala Blog Express 3 Crew inside the Edakkal Caves
Visiting Edakkal Caves was indeed physically challenging, but it was as well very enriching. At least, I can say that once in my lifetime I have experienced the Edakkal Caves of Wayanad, Kerala.
Edakkal Caves is located about 12km south of Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad. Sulthan Bathery is the nearest (KSRTC) bus station. Ambalavayal is the nearest town center. There is local bus/jeep service available.There are several Kerala Tour Packages available to help you reach the place.
Address: Wayanad, Kerala, 673593, Nenmeni, Kerala 673595, India
Visiting Hours: 9AM–4:00PM