Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves (Malayalam: ഇടക്കൽ/എടക്കൽ ഗുഹകൾ), also Edakal[1][2], are two natural caves at Edakkal, around 120 km south-west of Mysuru, in Wayanad district of Kerala. The caves are situated 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level on Ambukutty Mala, on the Mysore Plateau, in the Western Ghats.

Edakkal Caves
ഇടക്കൽ/എടക്കൽ ഗുഹകൾ
Location in India
LocationWayanad district, Kerala
Coordinates11°37′28.81″N 76°14′8.88″E
Site notes
DiscoveredFred Fawcett (1890)

The Edakkal caves are believed to be camping shelters of the Neolithic community (the south Indian Neolithic culture zone). The cave walls contain a collection of Neolithic rock engravings and images (which were incised over a period of time). The major part of images on the cave walls may belong to late Neolithic period (i. e., first millennium BC).[1] With the exception of Edakkal, no concrete evidence for the existence of a true Neolithic culture in Kerala has so far been discovered.[1]

The caves were discovered by Fred Fawcett, Superintendent of Police, Malabar District in 1896[2] who immediately recognised their anthropological and historical importance. He published an article (1901) about the caves in the Indian Antiquary (Volume 30), attracting the attention of scholars.[2]

The caverns at Edakkal are not technically caves, but rather a cleft, rift or rock shelter approximately 96 ft (29 m) by 22 ft (6.7 m), a 30-foot-deep (9.1 m) fissure caused by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. On one side of the cleft is a rock weighing several tons that covers the cleft to form the "roof" of the cave.

See also


  1. Shanmugam, P. 2014. 'Before the Common Era', in A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations, ed. Noburu Karashmia, pp. 12–13. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  2. Fawcett, F. 1901. Notes on the Rock Carvings in the Edakal Caves, Wynaad. The Indian Antiquary vol. XXX, pp. 409-421.
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