Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trek: Edakkal Caves and Ambukuthi mala, Wayanad Kerala India

Ambukuthi mala is a mountain in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. It is 12 km from Sulthan Batheryand near Ambalavayal. 

Edakkal Caves in Wayanad are magnificent formations of nature. The word 'Edakkal' itself means 'a stone in between'. The structure of these caves is truly extraordinary as a big boulder balances itself on two relatively smaller boulders, thus forming the truly fascinating Edakkal Caves of Kerala. These caves are a very popular tourist attraction of Wayanad. The cave has two levels inside that can be entered through an entrance that is merely 5 feet in height.

The lower chamber is around 18 feet long and 10 feet high. A small passage from there leads to the upper chamber that is around 95 feet long and 18 feet high. This truly magnificent structure is a storehouse of pre-historic art forms. This attracts historians and archaeologists from all over the world. The Edakkal Caves have been the cradle of human civilization at different stages in history.

Three pre-historic caves (Edakkal Caves) are located at a height of 1,000 metres on Ambukuthi mala. You have to get down at Edakkal and walk 1 km to reach these caves.This Edakkal cave is said to be formed as a result of earthquake and the name is derived from the rock that is supported in between other larger rocks. One can see the new stone age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves.The cave drawings are as old as 8000 years, and depict pictures of ancient tribal chieftains, elephants, queens and tools. A slightly less ancient script from the 3rd or 4th century BC is also seen in the caves which, thankfully, is impeccably maintained.

Caution: Sometimes, trek to ambukuthimala is not allowed by the authorities due to various reasons. Do check early before you plan your trip

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