EDAKKAL CAVES

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Location: Ambukuthi Hills, Wayanad
Unique feature: One Of The Earliest Centres Of Human Habitation
Discovered by: F. Fawcett
Significance: World's Richest Pictographic Gallery of its kind

Edakkal Caves, Wayanad, KeralaSituated on Ambukuthi Hills, Edakkal caves are 10 kilometers from Sultanbathery, in Wayanad district.

Formed by a large split in a huge rock, the two natural rock formations represent the world's richest pictographic gallery of its kind.

The two caves located at a height of 1000m on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal can be accessed only by a 1 km trek trail from Edakkal. Edakkal literally means 'a stone in between'.

It is a prehistoric rock shelter formed naturally out of a strange disposition of three huge boulders making one to rest on the other two, with its bottom jutting out in between and serving as the roof.

Edakkal rock engravings stand out distinct among the magnitude of prehistoric visual archives of paintings and graphic signs all over the world. ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
Archaeologists consider these as one of the earliest centres of human habitation. It is believed that similar straight-line cave drawings that are considered 7000 years old can be seen only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few rocky places in Africa.

The pictures depict the moods of man and woman, stars, bow, knife, palm etc. ancient carvings and pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head-dresses and swastik forms and other geometric symbols.

The caves contain several paintings and pictorial writings of the New Stone Age Civilization, which speak volumes of the bygone life and civilization.

THE DISCOVERY
F. Fawcett, the then Superintendent of Police, who was also a pre-history enthusiast, accidentally discovered the caves.

Fawcett went around exploring the Wayanad high ranges, which eventually led to the discovery and identification of the Edakkal rock-shelter in 1894.

He identified the site as a habitat of Neolithic people on the basis of the nature of representations on the cave walls, which appeared to him as engravings made of neolithics celts.



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