Edakkal caves were discovered by Fred Fawcett, the Superintendent of Police of the Malabar district in 1890, during his hunting trip to Wayanad. Edakkal caves are known for its pictorial paintings that are considered to be of 6000 B C. He discovered the Edakkal rock-shelter, located on the western side of Edakkalmala. He identified the place as a home ground of Neolithic folks, 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.
Edakkal Caves, which still remain a wonder and a mystery for archaeologists and historians alike. The name ‘Edakkal’ literally means that ‘a stone in between’. Edakkal caves are located 1,200 m above the sea level. Many legends are there behind the formation of Edakkal caves. One of the stories is that these caves are said to be formed with the arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Lord Sri Rama. Another one is associated with Kutti Chathan and the Goddess Mudiampilly. The local people used to have a pilgrimage trip to this place to honor the Goddess.
Scientists too are of the opinion that Edakkal Caves isn’t a cave in the real sense. It’s a fissure within the rocks that had been created due to natural causes/ changing weather conditions. The split within the rock is about twenty-two ft. in width and ninety-six ft. in length. The depth of the cleft extends to over thirty ft and there’s a large rock which has fallen forming a roof over it and this large cleft and the roof-rock gives it the appearance of a cave.
The Caves are situated about sixteen kilometers away from Sulthan Bathery and tourists need to trek up the Ambukuthi Hill to reach the caves. The trek up the hill, peppered with coffee plantations, is worth an experience and it takes about forty-five minutes to climb the hill. It’s a dwelling that showcases nature’s ability and philosophy of architecture and you have got to trek to about 4000 ft up a mountain to reach the place. The lush greenery and scenic landscape around and also the cool breeze that carries the aroma of coffee will surely make our journey a haunting one.
A remote ticket office is perched high on the top of the mountain and also the tourists can take entry tickets from there. The authorities open before you an iron gate, and then you’ll be able to enter a world of history, that has never ceased to attract people. A telescope is put in many feet from the caves. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding country.
Visit Edakkal caves while you stay at one of the best hotels in Wayanad, the Coffee Trail Resort.