Batu Caves is amazing! It is definitely one of the Things To See In Kuala Lumpur! A natural wonder and such an work of art by the lovely Mother Earth.
The large stalactites and stalagmites are truly breath taking. Some even form shapes that looked strangely familiar. It is no wonder it has become one of the icons of Malaysia, and a popular tourist attraction.
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur by Aeroline bus that took us about 6 hours. It was a very comfortable ride. Upon arriving at Kuala Lumpur, we visited the Petronas Twin Towers. It was a magnificent sight to behold! And to top it off, we were delighted to find The Suites Hotel, where we stayed, an absolute pleasure.
The next day, according to our plans, we made the trip to the famous Batu Caves. We shot a video about Getting To Batu Caves (click link to see the blog post and video). And below is the video we took of our Batu Caves experience.
Getting To Batu Caves
There are many ways of Getting To Batu Caves (click link to read and watch video of how we traveled there via train), and we chose to go there by train. It turned out to be a comfortable ride, economical, and only took us around 80 minutes.
There are many limestone hills, said to be around 400 million years old, in Selangor. And Batu Caves is one of them. What makes it unique is that it is the limestone hill that has many naturally formed caves, and temples have been built in some of these caves.
The largest of these caves, and the most well known, is the Temple Cave. The name is derived from the fact that the cave houses many Hindu shrines within its majestic high ceiling limestone caverns.
The word ‘Batu’ means ‘Stone’. So many people think that the name – Batu Caves – came from the concept that the caves are made of limestone. But the truth is the name is taken from a river that flows past the hills. The river is aptly named Sungai Batu, which means Stone River
Travel Tip: Every cave has a different admission price. Please note that the Temple Cave is Free to enter. And opening hours may vary for each cave.
In the video, you can see a long flight of steps to the entrance of the Temple Cave. Originally, back in 1920, the steps were made of wood. Today, the steps have been rebuilt with concrete.
And the number of steps? 272!
Yes, you read it right. 272 steps that will test your fitness to the limits. Many people stop along the way to catch their breath. You can see it in the video too.
But it is all worth it!
When you arrive at the destination, you get a visual treat of awe-inspiring natural caverns that you will remember for a lifetime. I know I sure did.
Travel Tip: Near the Temple Cave is the Dark Cave. There is a mini exhibition area that provides you information about the natural history of the entire area. And if you dare, you can explore the Dark Cave with a tour (for a reasonable price).
Magnificent Gigantic Statue of Lord Murugan
You can’t miss it. It is the huge statue at the bottom of the steps that leads to the Temple Cave. And it is in Gold! It is the Lord Murugan Statue.
This is the tallest statue of a Hindu god in Malaysia. In the world, it is the second tallest statue of a Hindu god. Its height is 42.7 metres, which is 140 feet. The tall image took 3 years to build, and was unveiled in January 2006 during the Thaipusam festival then.
Batu Caves Temple
Deep at the heart of the Temple Cave, 100m above ground, is the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Murugan Swami. It was placed there by an Indian trader by the name of K. Thamboosamy Pillai in 1890.
2 years later, in 1892, the annual Hindu festival – Thaipusam – was celebrated there. And has been ever since. Thaipusam is a three-day festival that is held around late January or early February. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims converge to pay homage to Lord Murugan during this time.
Today, the cave and the temple combine to be one of the most popular Hindhu shrines outside of India.
Monkeys, Spiders, Bats and Other Natural Inhabitants
In the vast network of the caves, there are numerous natural inhabitants such as spiders, bats, snakes, and most visibly – Monkeys.
The monkeys are almost everywhere; as you climb the heart stress tester steps, and as you visit the shrine deep inside the Temple Cave. You can see them getting food and drinks from visitors.
Travel Tip: Beware of the Monkeys! I have seen a packet of drink snatched from a visitor by a monkey. And I have heard of phones, bags, wallets, purses and more being taken away very quickly by the fast moving monkeys. So do keep your valuables close to you!
Besides the monkeys, there are lots of creatures living in the caves. Of course there will be right? This is their natural home. Visit the Dark Cave to see a mini exhibit where you can see photos of the natural history of this site as well as of these intriguing creatures.
Do visit the Batu Caves! They are truly amazing and one of the Things To See In Kuala Lumpur.
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