Edakkal caves is the treasured site of Neolithic and Mesolithic rock inscriptions located in Ambukuthy Mala in the Wayanad district of Kerala. Located at 1200 meters above sea level, the caves are covered in lush environs of the hills. Edakkal is one of the earliest centres of human habitation. It is replete with mysteries of the pre-historic times.
The name of Edakkal caves means 'a stone in between'. As the name indicates, it looks like one boulder miraculously wedged between two massive stones. Formed due to climatic conditions, the split in the rock is about 22 feet in width and 96 feet in length.
Three distinct sets of petroglyphs can be seen in the caves and some depictions are as old as 7000 years. The rock surface is covered in weird shaped figures, crosses, triangles, tridents, squares, wheels, spirals, plant motifs, animals and ancient inscriptions including a Tamil Brahmi script. Recent research points out that the civilization who created the art and inscriptions were linked with Indus Valley Civilization.
There are many legends associated with Edakkal. People believe that Lord Rama shot an arrow in the mountain and created a deep cleft there. The name of the hills, Ambukuthy too is derived from this legend.
The Edakkal caves are a kilometer trek from the base of the mountain. Sultan Bathery is the nearest city with commuting routes to other cities.
Best time to visit: Can be visited throughout the year. Monsoon is generally avoided as the trek is slippery and the cave is too humid.
Visiting hours: 9:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.