The Edakkal caves in Wayanad district are a gateway to a bygone era and the prehistoric natural caves are an attestation that there were human settlements here about 6,000 years ago. The history-laden caves are not only a treat to the eyes but a reflection of the existence of human beings.
As you trudge up the steep concrete path, coffee plants and small trees would hug the walkway with monkeys mischievously moving around in the area. With monkeys in the vicinity, you shouldn’t lower your guard as they will snatch away whatever is in your hand.
The winding concrete passage will end at the ticket counter and the entry fee per person is Rs 30. Though the number of visitors to the ancient caves had been restricted in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, travellers from different places are flocking to this place replete with historical importance. In the pre-COVID days, a great number of travellers from Bengaluru and Mysuru used to visit the Edakkal caves. But presently only people from Kerala are stepping into the caves due to travel restrictions imposed in view of the spread of coronavirus.
There is a flight of steps after the ticket counter. One can reach near the first cave after climbing the elegantly built granite steps. It is a tad difficult to enter the first cave, which is a small one, as the opening to the cave is quite narrow. As you pass through the cave and come out, there is another pathway that will take you forward. You have to climb a ladder that is kept on the side of a huge rock to move upwards and you will reach a small aperture between mammoth rocks. From here, you have to trek up the steep path for a while.
As the trek up is very steep, ladders are kept at many places to make the climb easier. After climbing for a while you will reach near the second cave where the land is quite flat. You can sit on one of the rocks and enjoy the magnificent vista of the hills far away and also see the breathtaking view of the clouds slowly embracing the hills.
The Edakkal caves are situated in the Ambukuthimala hills and earlier, people could climb to the top of the hills. But considering the risks involved and due to other reasons, currently travellers are not allowed to trek to the summit.
You have to climb down the stairs to enter the second cave and its inside is very spacious and cool. The cave is in fact a cleft formed by one rock struck between two rock formations and light seeps inside through the cracks. The rocks have intricate carvings and it is incredible that man found this cave and lived here around 6,000 years ago. The people who lived in the cave used to draw and write on the rocks but there is nothing concrete about their body structure, lifestyle, food habits, tools and weapons. The drawings on the rocks are a testimony that people lived in Edakkal caves 6,000 years ago.