The Edakkal Caves and its Neolithic petroglyphs are a must see on every travellers itinerary if they are in Wayanad. But, do you know it was a British police officer who first recognised the importance of the carvings? And that it has been 121 years since he discovered these scribblings made by our ancestors.
Till Fred Fawcett, a police official of the erstwhile Malabar state invited the attention of the world to carvings in Edakkal caves, nobody thought of its historical and cultural importance. But this record of history gave the proof and facts about a period which was beyond the narration of time. This also lead to the new analysis of history.
Fawcett and the caves Fame of Edakkal caves climbed down from the hills of Ambukuthy 120 years ago. It still reminds us of the colourful visuals of a pre-historic age. The name Fred Fawcett will linger with the history of Edakkal. He found out the historical recordings and studied them in detail. The pictorial representations were later subjected to comprehensive analysis. Fawcett reached caves with the help of local tribal people who cleared the forest patches to create a pathway. From 1894 till 1896 he visited the caves several times and took pictures.
In the historical records of the British, Ambukuthy hills, the location of Edakkal caves, is Battery rock. It is not really a cave, but a cleft or rift in rock. Myths say that the fissure in the rock was created when an arrow (in Malayalam ambu )from Lord Sree Rama fell (kuthy in Malayalam)on the hill. Edakkal got its name as a stone ( kallu in Malayalam) perched on the rift (eda in Malayalam). Standing on top of the historical hills the mystic beauty of Karappuzha and the greenery of the countryside can be enjoyed utmost.
The team Guiding the visitors to Edakkal and enlightening them is a team of 20 employees. As the premises of the cave are forbidden for plastic, anything made of plastic is a taboo here. Under the leadership of sub collector Sriram Sambasiva Rao, who is also the secretary of the District Tourism Promotion Council, the team consists of manager P.M.Rathish Babu, attendant George Thomas, information assistant Vinu Joseph, Shafeeq, Dinesh, Nash Jose, Reji, Jyothish, Paul Mathew and Saji. In addition to them there are five security staff and five Kudumbasree members for cleaning.
Development Activities So Far:
Visitors' pathway laid with steel and granite
Renovated ticket counter
Gateway having pillars fused with granite stones.
Wide road from Kolagappara to Edakkal constructed spending Rs 6 crores.
Drinking water facility for visitors
Separate waiting room for tourists who are not able to access the caves (Information on the caves will be provided here)
New toilet block and VIP lounge
Eco-friendly resting spots with tents to withstand the rain
Parking slots and seating
CCTV surveillance from the entry point to the caves
Fully equipped medical aid post
Fencing on both sides of the pathway from the entry point to the caves.
Signage on all major points starting from Aayiramkolli
Drinking water facility at more places
Everyday from 9am to 4 pm. Monday is a holiday.
Ticket Fare Adults-Rs 20 Children- Rs 10