Quick Facts –
Location : Selangor, Malaysia
Getting there : By taxi/car, Komuter Train or take monorail from KL Central to Titiwangsa station and then take a bus to Batu caves.
Main Attractions : Cave temple, Dravidian architecture and world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan (140 ft. high)
Opening Time/ Entrance cost: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm ; free entrance
Batu Caves are some 400 million years old limestone formation located north of Kuala Lumpur, famous as religious Hindu shrine dedicated to the Lord Murugan (Lord Shiva’s son). It attracts tons of Hindu devotees during the Thaipusam Festival in the Tamil month of Thai (late January/early February) every year with religious undertakings to please Lord Shiva’s son Karthikeya.
The major attraction of the cave is 140 feet tall golden statue of Lord Murugan (Lord Karthikeya) at the main entrance and the Batu Cave Temple complex. One has to take 272 steps of steep climb to reach the cave temple complex that houses Hindu temples with exquisite carvings. On a clear day, you can see the stunning skyline of the city from above. While you climb up the stairs, you will be greeted by many mischievous macaque monkeys. You can often spot tourists feeding them and clicking pictures however you need to be careful especially at such steep climb as they can end up stealing or biting.
The main cave is known as Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave and is the biggest of all caves. It displays several Hindu shrines with beautiful Dravidian architecture and high vaulted ceiling. It houses 123 year old temple Hindu temple (Sri Valli Devanai Temple) with religious and intricate artworks and altars. You can also opt for a guided tour and know in details about the history and significance of the cave complex. A visit to Batu Caves is something not to be missed on your trip to Malaysia.
Batu Caves are also the focal point of Rock Climbing in Malaysia offering as many as 160 climbing routes. The limestone caves are 400 meters long and 100 meters high and you can marvel at some intricate formations like scallops, cave curtains and stalactites jutting from cave ceiling. To maintain the cave ecology, access to the Dark Cave is restricted. Apart from this, the Ramayana Cave is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and displays 50 feet tall statue of Lord Hanuman with story of Lord Rama chronicled on the walls. At the bottom of the cave staircase are Art Gallery and Museum Cave exhibiting Hindu deities and traditions in the form of paintings.
Best time to visit : During the Thaipusam festival in late January / early February
What not to miss : The massive Temple Cave, its architecture and serenity.
Practical Info :
- Apart from its historical importance, Batu Caves is a local religious shrine first so should be treated with respect and keep your dress code accordingly.
- Be careful with the sneaky monkeys.
- Not recommended for elderly people or people with disabilities.
LTC’s tip : It is best to visit this place early in the morning in order to climb 272 odd stairs as it gets hotter and more crowded by the afternoon and bring your own water to avoid being overcharged.