We arrived at the site of the Edakkal caves in the early afternoon. The site is known for petroglyphs (rock carvings on stone faces) that date back to at least 6,000 B.C.E. though some of the carvings could date as far back as 8000 B.C.E. The caves are located in the state of Kerala, about 25 km from the town of Kalpetta in the Wayanad district. They are approximately 1,200 metres from sea level so one has to drive up a fair bit of the mountain, finishing the last 500 or so vertical metres on foot–not an easy climb in the heat.
Some shots from the climb:
Although popularly referred to as Edakkal “caves” the formation housing the carvings is technically a rift caused by a portion of the rock splitting off from the rest, resulting in a slanted roof of sorts. The roof is situated behind and above me in the photo below, unfortunately I didn’t get a good shot of that side due to the huge contrasts in shadow and light.
Photos of the petroglyphs made by Neolithic artists. They depict animals, and as is most clear in the second shot, men facing forward, wearing head-dresses:
So that you can get a sense of the scale:
That monkey below looks pretty cute, but on my climb up I saw one of the most disgusting things I have ever witnessed, courtesy of two such monkeys. A male companion to this female jumped on top of her and mounted her from the rear. He lasted all of 10 seconds, and when he was done he violently shoved her aside and proceeded to eat the leftover semen from his crotch. Not so cute now, are they?
The following two nights we stayed at some homestays in the town of Kalpetta. There really isn’t much to see in the city itself, but it’s near the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary so it’s a very good spot to set off on treks to explore the area. You can visit coffee plantations, rice paddies, or you can go on nature tours to spot wild elephants. As you can tell, the area is quite picturesque.
I used the two days for a bit of a rest and to get some much needed photo editing done. Below is a shot of a fellow walking ducklings through the middle of town:
Below you can see what bars catering to locals look like. The places are frankly a little bleak, most are in basements so for this one to have windows actually makes it one of the nicer places. There are absolutely no women inside, and some bars in India specifically prohibit women. In the second shot below, see if you can spot the cage in the rear corner. That’s where you pay for the drinks–Indian bars are pretty much the only places that don’t give you a hard time using a $1000 Rupee bill, so as you can imagine they accumulate a lot of cash, hence the security measures.
A shot of my tasty dinner that night, one of the better dosas I had in India and at a great price. If memory serves me right, I paid under $2 CDN for the dosa and a large bottle of carbonated water.
I’ll leave you with a few night shots: