Located at about 1200 ft above the sea level, the Edakkal Caves are among the oldest human settlements ever discovered. Inside the caves are pictorial drawings and engravings that indicate the presence of ancient human settlements in the region.
Despite their name, the Edakkal Caves are not actually caves. They are part of a pre historic rock shelter, formed naturally when one huge boulder got wedged between two bigger ones. The name Edakkal itself means “a stone in between”.
The Edakkal cave paintings are remarkable in their sheer scale and complexity, but their origins are shrouded in mystery. Ever since their discovery in 1895, they have been a source of awe and wonder for tourists and historians alike.
The Edakkal Caves were discovered in 1895 by the Superintendent of Police of Malabar District, Fred Fawcett. He was on a hunting trip when he happened to find a Neolithic stone axe, which led to the discovery of Edakkal.
The engravings are abundant and of great variety. Human figures, animals, tools, vehicles, day-to-day occurrences and scripts in different language scripts have been discovered here. The diversity of the engravings suggest that the Edakkal caves were inhabited several times at different points in history. The oldest among them date back to 6000 B.C, to the age of Stone Age man.
The engravings are not the only attractions at Edakkal. The Muniyaras, or ancient burial sites that have been discovered in these hills have yielded a rich collection of ancient earthenware and pottery. Most of the artifacts discovered here are now housed in the Wayanad Heritage Museum.
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