This is often listed as one of the top things to do in Wayanad.
There are carvings here that are believed to date back to the BC years.
It’s been said that Wayanad is one of the few places in India known to have historic rock carvings.
When in Wayanad, I stayed in Kalpetta, which is one of the main towns of this region.
You can get a taxi or rickshaw to take you from Kalpetta to the Edakkal Caves, and that’ll likely take around an hour.
This would be the quickest, easiest, and least strenuous way.
Or if you want to make the caves your only activity of the day, you can go by bus too!
Bus will naturally take longer, and there’s also a bit of a walk (or rickshaw ride) from the closest point you can get to the caves by bus.
So that’s why if you want to get there the cheap way (by bus!), it’s best to make the caves the only thing on your itinerary for the day.
First, the quick list of how to get to Edakkal Caves.
Then, a bit more about how I made this trip!
How to get from Kalpetta to Edakkal Caves by bus:
- Go to Kalpetta bus station
- Take Kalpetta to Sultan Bathery bus
- Get off at Kolagappara Junction
- Take next bus to bus stop near Edakkal Caves
- Walk or take rickshaw the rest of the way to Edakkal Caves
Ask the bus staff or people on the street for help along the way!
This was basically my experience taking the bus to the Edakkal Caves!
Kalpetta to Edakkal Caves by bus
1. Go to Kalpetta bus station
2. Get on a bus with destination Sultan Bathery
You are NOT going to Sultan Bathery. You’re just looking for a bus that’s headed in this direction.
There are likely enough frequency of buses going from Kalpetta to Sultan Bathery that you won’t have to wait too long for the next bus to come.
Once you’re on the bus, you’ll pay for a ticket to Kolagappara Junction.
This is a good time to also ask the bus ticket conductor to let you know once you’re at Kolagappara Junction.
It can be helpful to have it written down, in case they can’t understand your butchering of the name. 😉
You might also consider pointing it out on Google maps.
This bus ride was around 45 minutes.
3. Get off the bus at Kolagappara Junction
4. Walk a few minutes to a different bus stop at Kolagappara Junction
You need to go to a different bus stop than the one you get off in front of.
From the place you were dropped off, you’ll look for a “junction” looking place, and walk over that way.
Then you’ll wait on the corner that’s across from the rickshaw stand.
It will probably be helpful to ask people around where to go to find a bus to Edakkal Caves.
This was basically a random corner, and there wasn’t really any marking indicating it was a bus stop.
Then you’ll wait for the bus.
I waited around 20 minutes for the bus to arrive.
Or if you change your mind and just want to get a rickshaw to the caves, here’s your chance. 😉
At least it’ll be a little cheaper than a rickshaw from Kalpetta!
5. Get on the bus to Edakkal Caves!
This bus was a little packed.
But it’s a short ride, around 10 minutes.
Once again, when you buy your bus ticket, you can ask the bus worker to let you know when it’s your stop.
6. Get off the bus at the stop nearest to the caves!
You are still not yet quite at Edakkal Caves.
7. Go the rest of the way to get to the Edakkal Caves!
You now have 2 options to get you the rest of the way:
- Take a rickshaw
You will likely find rickshaws right near the bus stop.
This actually would be a good time to take a rickshaw, because your other option is kind of a long walk.
There is a sign that points towards Edakkal Caves, and that’s the road you’ll want to take.
From there, I think it was pretty straightforward.
It was about an hour walk from the bus stop to the start of the actual Edakkal Caves trek.
You can consider it a bit of a road trek. 😉
This is a pretty quiet road through Wayanad.
And then once you reach the entry to the Edakkal Caves path…
8. Hike to the Edakkal Caves!
More like stair climb to the Edakkal Caves!
9. Take the buses back to Kalpetta!
HAPPY KALPETTA TO EDAKKAL CAVES BUS RIDE!
More bus travel in Kerala
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!