Decoding The Pre-historic Stone-Age Carvings Of The Edakkal Caves, Kerala
Just when you thought you’ve seen all there is in Kerala, the place surprises you with hidden gems that you really cannot miss! One such are the unseen wonders of the Edakkal Caves, located in the remote Edakkal region, around 25 kilometres from the Wayanad District in Kerala. Away from the much frequented Wayanad Lake or the backwaters, this couple of caves is a natural beauty, that deserves all the attention that it gets.
The Edakkal caves are not technically caves, but rock formations that form a cleft, creating a natural fissure that can run quite deep. It’s a fascinating natural occurrence that is quite interesting to see. Not only that, but the cave walls are decorated with pictorial writings that date back to 6,000 BCE. That’s some prehistoric good stuff! So, the caves are not just great for the natural lovers, but it is a significant sight for history buffs as well, and people visit take back stories of the past and scenic scenes from the present. The caves were discovered in 1895 by the then Superintendent of Police Malabar District, Fred Fawcett, on his hunting trip. What is now the only site in India with Stone Age carvings, was an wonderful accidental discovery! Here are some interesting reasons you should be visiting the Edakkal caves right away:
The Writing On The Walls Edakkal Caves
It is one thing to walk into caves, and admire their beauty, and a whole another thing to walk through prehistoric scriptures, that possibly date back to the Indus valley civilisation. The Stone Age carvings are some of the oldest human carving found on Earth, and it is a real discovery to be able to navigate your way through this. The beautiful carvings can be traced back to the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages, and one can also notice Tamil and Sanskrit scripts on the cave walls. Archeologists and historians have studied the caves for their historical significance for years, and there is still so much that can be decoded. The evolution of language and civilisation can be observed just by studying these pre-historic archeological gems, and for those history geeks, this is a real treasure chest.
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Adventure Junkies Rejoice At Edakkal Caves Wayanad
Reaching the Edakkal Caves Wayanad can be quite an adventure in itself, and it really gets the adrenaline pumping for those willing to rough it up in nature. To reach the caves, there is at least a 45 minute trek through Ambukuthi Mala, a mountain which leads to the pre-historic caves. The trek is doable, but does need a level of fitness. Stone step lead you up to the entrances of the cave, flanked by rock and heavy vegetation on all sides. If you’re willing to go through the rigour, you’ll not regret the destination of the stunning caves and the breath-taking panoramic views on the way.
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Nature Photography At Its Best Near Edakkal Guha
The Edakkal Gufa, as they’re also known as, are unique in their formation, and are known to have formed after an earthquake. Light seeps through the narrow crevice in the rocks, making for a beautiful hide-and-seek of light and shade. For nature photographers, a location as unique as this must be captured. Not just the caves themselves, but the picturesque views from Ambukuthi Mala are also worth capturing. As far as the eye can see, there is verdant beauty of the Wayanad district and the camera lens just does a little dance of joy!
Travel Tips For Edakkal Caves
- There is a climb, so go fully prepared. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing suitable for an uphill trek. Perhaps, not so great for the weak-hearted or the elderly, as there is literally just stone and metal stairs to get all the way through the caves.
- The caves are open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and the timings are pretty strict. This is probably due to the terrain and the danger of climbing without adequate light. So, do plan your trip accordingly.
- The place can get crowded on weekends, so if you can, plan to visit on weekdays. Apart from occasional school group, weekdays are generally relaxed.
- There is an entry fee to enter the Edakkal caves, and a separate ticket to use the camera. It’s a nominal fee, and worth the money.
Make your way to his historic pride of the Wayanad district, and take back stories from the Stone Age. A sight unlike any other that you’ll see in India, this one must be on your bucket list.
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Neha Mathur loves to explore the stories behind places and people. She believes travel is the best form of education, and loses no opportunity to visit a new place. Neha writes to express stories that touch her heart or entice her mind. She’s a foodie and nothing gives her more happiness than delicious local food! She has a deep love for poetry and music, and swears by the artistic genius of Mirza Ghalib and R.D. Burman.