Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Edakkal Caves (Neolithic Age)
Last weekend we had been to a lovely place called Wayanad, 4000 feet above sea level, in the state of Kerala, which has traces and testimonies of tribes who lived in caves.
During the British rule, Fred Fawcett a senior police officer and a pre-history enthusiast happened to see a Neolithic stone axe from a nearby coffee estate. Being an enthusiast and nature lover he started exploring the nearby forest and with the help of local tribes, discovered this cave in 1890.
With like minded scholar friends, he found out these are pre-historic carvings by Neolithic people carved with Neolithic Celts. This was a monumental discovery as these are the first samples of drawings on rock with rock tools, founded in India
The caves have at least three different types of petroglyphs, which means the cave carvings are of different periods and the oldest are said to be 8000 years old! The carvings consists of human figures, animals, circle shaped wheel like structures and various other complex drawings.
This is the boulder which makes the roof..
This is not a cave as such, but a naturally formed break up between two rocks 96ft long and 22 ft wide and a very big rock has fallen and jammed between the walls on top to make a natural formation like a roof. As per the geologists and archeologists, this happened due to natural forces like earthquake or landslip about 30,000 years ago.
The figure of a male with arms and head gear
These carvings are so rare and founded only in a very few places in India and Edakkal drawings are thus important not just because of its quality but also for its complex depiction of carvings.
A wheel is seen right there on top and a few other complex diagrams
These are Tamil Brahmi script on the wall
These carving with stone tools are said to be cavemen's way of communication or expressions of their Vision and Dreams in the absence of languages
As per scientists and archeologists, these Stone Age carvings and pictorial writings clearly state the presence of a pre-historic culture in this part of the world.
And yes..never ever miss this cave if you visit Kerala.. ;-)
Note: In spite of being in Global heritage list and hence getting enough funds to preserve, the local authorities are slightly slack in maintaining the premises. Though plastic is banned, one can see all these wastes in many places. At the same time, there is no point in blaming the authorities when senseless travelers (mostly local travelers) extensively carry and use plastic and carelessly dump the waste all around. Implementing a stringent law and a complete ban of plastic and food is the only option to safeguard the sacred cave and its premise.