Old rock shelters which are believed to be the home to the descendants of the Palaiyar tribes who used to wear leaf clothing, the Kukkal Caves are the overhanging slabs of various types of metamorphic rocks known as granulite and charconite. Until the mid-1980s, more than 30 families lived on the hilltop where a small temple was situated as well. The old hand paintings present on the walls of the temple indicate the presence of the Paliyan tribes. The now camping site of trekkers was once the earliest settlement of the Paliyan tribals. Situated at the height of 6200 feet above sea level, the Kukkal caves reside on of the highest altitudes in Kodaikanal which is why it receives a yearlong frigid climate along with misty and never-ending rains.
The factors behind the location of the caves when combined lead to its increased and unique biodiversity. The large variety of terrain of the Kukkal Caves is another important pointer which helps determine the factor which contributes to its unique flora and fauna. To trek in the forest areas, the tourists are required to get permission from the Forest Department. The slanting height and the presence of the caves inside the forest reserve which remains unhindered by human activities make the place peaceful, quiet and a real haven for all those who wish to break away from their busy life and unwind. Renowned worldwide as a diversity hotspot, a visit to the Kukkal caves will bring you one step closer to the common and rare species of plants and animals.
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