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Edakkal caves wayanad in kerala south indian tourist places kerala hill stations in india kerala historic monuments in india
EdakkalCaves Wayanad In Kerala<br />www.holidayinwayanad.com<br />
The fascinating prehistoric rock etchings found on the walls of these caves have drawn the serious attention of archeologists and historians worldwide.<br />With at least three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest thought to date back over 5000 years, it is assumed that the Edakkal caves had been inhabited at various stages in history.<br />
The name “Edakkal” literally means “a stone in between”, and this describes how the cave is formed by a heavy boulder straddling a fissure in the rock. Inside the cave is on two levels, the lower chamber measures about 18 feet long by 12 feet wide and 10 feet high and can be entered through an opening of 5 x 4 feet. A passage opposite the entrance leads upward to a small aperture in the roof through which one climbs up to the next storey whose interior is about 96 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 18 feet high. Light enters the cave through a big gap at the right-hand corner of the roof where the boulder does not touch the facing wall.<br />
Legends of the Caves<br /> The name Ambukuthimala is ascribed to the local legend which has it that the caves were formed by arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Sri Rama, legendary hero of the Ramayana.Even today there are many who believe that Lord Rama killed Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, in the narrow fissure at the southern end of Edakkal cave. <br />
The Colonial Discovery of the Caves<br /> On a hunting trip to Wayanad in 1890, Fred- Fawcett, the then superintendent of police of the Malabar District, happened to see a Neolithic Celt (stone axe or chisel) recovered from the coffee estate of Colin Mackenzie. An enthusiast in prehistory, Fawcett made local enquiries and went round exploring the Wayanad high ranges. In the course of his rambles he was shown the Edakkal rock-shelter situated on the western side of Edakkalmala.<br />
Tribal Peoples & the Caves<br /> Fawcett suggested the possibility that the carvings might have been the handiwork of Kurumbars (a tribal people of the Wayanad). He writes, "The curious reluctance of the Kurumbars to approach the Cave, combined with the simultaneous want of reverence for it both on the part of the Paniyas and the local Hindus, who are very small in numbers and not Iong resident in the Wayanad, might tempt one to hazard the theory as to the carvings being the handiwork of Kurumbars of a bygone day".<br />