Do not pass off Edakkal Caves as any other ordinary cave, this one is special because it is the only place in India where you can find the Stone Age carvings that date back to 6,000 BC. The ancient carvings and paintings found inside the cave proves that it is one of the oldest human settlements ever discovered.

Contrary to its name, the Edakkal caves are actually not caves but they are part of the prehistoric rock shelter formed by the natural processes. Be it tourists, history buffs, photographers or archaeologists, this place is sure to take them back in time and tell those stories of bygone eras.

Where Is Edakkal Caves

one cannot take edakkal caves photos as it is prohibited
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Edakkal Cave which holds immense historical and archaeological significance is located at a distance of 1,200 above sea level in the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is situated at just about 16 km from Sultan Bathery and 25 km from Kalpetta. The 96 feet long and 22 feet wide cave can be reached by trekking up the Ambukuthi Hill. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone who likes to dig deep into the mysteries of the past, for the ones who love history, art, and for those looking for some adventure.

Edakkal Caves History 

In 1890 the Superintendent Police of Malabar District, Fred Fawcett discovered Edakkal cave during his hunting trip to Wayanad. As mentioned earlier, Edakkal Caves Wayanad is not a cave but a splitting of rocks due to some of the natural processes such as rains, wind, storm or earthquakes. However the Mythological explanation is that the split in the stones happened when the arrows of Lord Rama’s twin sons, Luv and Kush hit the rock. The beautiful stone carving and paintings inside the cave are estimated to be as old as 5000 BC to 1000 BC. 

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Exploring Edakkal Cave

The various themes and motifs, such as animals, human figures, symbols, geometrical shapes, weapons, etc. belong to different periods and cultures, such as the New Stone Age, Copper Age, Iron Age, and historic times. It also gives information about the social, religious, cultural and trade practices of the ancient people who lived here. There are two levels inside the cave with the second level being larger than the first level. One can also see the presence of Tamil and Brahmin scripts on the walls of the cave. 400 of the petroglyphs have been identified so far, the rest of the cave paintings still remain a mystery.

edakkal caves wayanad is one of the top attractions
Inside view of the cave during a bright and sunny day.

Other Important Information

Edakkal Caves Timings: Tuesday to Sunday 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Monday Closed)

Edakkal Caves Entry Fee: Indians – INR 20, Foreigners – INR 40, Shuttle Jeep per person – INR 70

Videography & Photography: Camcorder INR 100 and camera – INR 25

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Also Read: Our Guide To The Best Time To Visit Wayanad

Edakkal Cave Trek Details

Distance: Approximately 3 kilometers (two way) from the base to the caves.

Duration of Trek: 2 to 3 hours (can vary depending on fitness level).

Difficulty Level of Trek: Moderate

Trek Starting Point: The trek starts at the foot of Ambukuthi Mala from the parking area. Initial part of the trek is quite easy with a well-paved path. It ascend gradually starts getting tough with a series of steps and trails. There are small shops selling refreshments and restrooms to freshen up.

Midway Point: As you keep climbing up the trail becomes steeper with rocky and uneven steps. However one can take brakes to enjoy the breathtaking views.

Final Ascend: The final part is quite challenging, but there are metal railings and ropes to make your climb comfortable.

Tourists climbing stairs to enter the cave.
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Tips For A Safe And Fulfilling Visit

Please do make a note of the below points before planning your visit:

  • There are 380 steps to the top, so it is not recommended for small children and aged people.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and good footwear.  
  • To stay hydrated carry enough water.
  • Use a hat, shades and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. 
  • Smoking and drinking are strictly prohibited.
  • Make sure you do not litter the premises as it is strictly prohibited.
  • Keep your valuables safe as there are a lot of monkeys on the way.
  • Avoid the rainy season as heavy rainfall can make the trek dangerous.
  • Keep your gadgets away as photography is not allowed inside the caves.
  • Avoid touching or damaging the rock carvings as it is punishable.
  • Read all safety instructions before the ascend.
  • It’s a heritage site, so make sure to respect the place and be a responsible traveler.

Though visiting the Edakkal Caves is physically challenging, you won’t be disappointed when you are up there. The mesmerizing natural beauty from above and the stunning geological formations make the entire trek very enriching. The intricate petroglyphs and various symbolic representations are nothing but a window into the lives and minds of our ancestors. So, if you get a chance to travel to Wayanad, make sure to visit Edakkal Cave to get a glimpse of the ancient human civilizations.


Where is Edakkal Caves in Wayanad?

It is located 1200 ft above sea level at a remote place called Nenmeni in Wayanad. 

How to get to Edakkal Caves?

The caves are only 25 kms from Wayanad. The best option is to either take a bus from Wayand or simply hire a taxi or cab. 

What is the script in the Edakkal Caves?

The script used inside the caves is the Tamil-Brahmi-Malayalam inscription which is one of the oldest extant writings in south India.


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