The highlight of these remote hilltop ‘caves’ or more accurately a small series of caverns, is the ancient collection of petroglyphs  (images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art) in the top cave. They’re thought to date back to over 3000 years.

Situated in Ambukuthi hills, Edakkal caves are popular for its Stone Age rock engravings. These engravings indicate the presence of ancient human settlements there. Located about 1200 ft above the sea level, they’re also known for the ancient burial spots. The caves, a major tourist attraction in the area, had shut down after a huge stone collapsed during the monsoons.

That had led to closing the entry to the first cave, which is estimated to open only after the study by a team of experts is completed. The team consists of scientists of the National Centre for Earth Science Studies and experts of the Archaeology Department. Banning entry to the first cave hasn’t however stopped travellers from visiting the second cave. A secondary route is constructed specifically for such situations.

The Archaeology and Archives Minister has decided to restrict the number to 1,930 travellers a day and only a group of 30 people are allowed at a time.The engravings are not the only attractions at Edakkal. The Muniyaras, or ancient burial sites that have been discovered in these hills that have yielded a rich collection of ancient earthenware and pottery. Most of the artifacts discovered here are housed in the Wayanad Heritage Museum. You can visit the caves on all days except Mondays.