Nenmeni, Kerala 673595.
At Ambalavayal. 12 km from Sultan Bathery, Ambukuthi Hills, Wayanad district.
All year Tue-Sun 8:30-16.
Adults INR 50, Children (0-12) INR 30.
Parking INR 40.
Lower Chamber: L=5.5 m, W=3.6 m, H=3 m.
Upper Chamber: L=30 m, W=6.7 m, H=5.5 m.
|Guided tours:||self guided, L=1.5 km, St=300.|
Nenmeni, Kerala 673595, Tel: +91-99470-42559, Tel: +91-4936-202134.
Edakkal Hermitage, Wayanad, Kerala 673592, Cell: +91-98470-01491, Cell: +91-94472-62570, Tel: +91-4936-221860, Tel: +91-4936-260123. Camp: +91-4936-261178. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1890||discovered by Fred Fawcett, former Superintendent of Police whilst exploring the Wayanad Mountains.|
|2019||during heavy rains a crack formed in the eastern part of the hill threatening the site.|
The two caves located at a height of 1000 m on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal and can only be accessed via by a 1 km trek trail from Edakkal. Edakkal literally means 'a stone in between'. It is a prehistoric rock shelter formed naturally by three huge boulders one of which rests upon the other two, forming the roof.
The Edakkal rock art is equal to any prehistoric cave paintings in Europe. The paintings include stars, bows, knives, palms etc. together with drawings of human and animal figures with peculiar head-dresses and swastika forms and other geometric symbols.
Text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.
In the case of Edakkal Caves the plural is justified, as there are two caves. The lower chamber is 5.5 m long, 3.6 m wide, and 3 m high, while the upper chamber is 30 m long, 6.7 m wide, and 5.5 m high. Both are tectonic caves, long ago huge blocks started to move at the top of a mountain. This was caused by the steep walls which were created by the erosion of said mountain. At some point the movements stopped with the blocks leaning at each other enclosing the two caves.
Carvings of humans, animals, and objects used by humans on the cave walls are the evidence for a highly civilized pre-historic society. The carvings were dated to the Neolithic and Mesolithic periods. This is actually the only spot in India where Stone Age carvings have been discovered. There are three types of petroglyph, the oldest were dated 8,000 years BP, the next are from the Harappan culture 4,300 BP to 3,700 BP, and the youngest were created about 1,600 years ago.
The caves were formed by arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Sri Rama, the legendary hero of the Ramayana. Lord Rama killed Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, in the narrow fissure at the southern end of Edakkal cave.
Fred Fawcett was on a hunting trip to Wayanad in 1890, when Colin Mackenzie presented him a stone axe which he had found on his coffee estate. Fawcett was an enthusiast in prehistory and started exploring the Wayanad high ranges in search of more prehistoric remains. When some locals showed him the Edakkal rock shelter, he identified the site as a habitat of Neolithic man. He suggested that the carvings might be the handiwork of Kurumbars, a tribal people of the Wayanad.
To protect the site, the Archeological Department Kerala restricted the number of visitors to the caves at 1,920 visitors daily. It's obviously a good idea to visit the site as early as possible.