The Batu Caves is a labyrinth of limestone caves that are believed to be 400 million years old. It is located approximately 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur and can be easily accessed by car, train or bus.
The Batu Caves has three main caves and several smaller caves that dot the entire complex.
This Malaysian landmark is also a significant Hindu shrine. It is dedicated to Lord Muragan whose 42-metre high golden statue greets every visitor at the entrance. Smaller statues are also built inside the caves, making the Batu Caves an important place of worship.
Every year from late January to early February, pilgrims flock to the caves for the annual Thaipusam Festival where they offer their “kavadis” to the Hindu gods.
A visit to the Batu Caves is a welcome respite from the noise and traffic of the city. It is also a good opportunity to learn more about Hinduism and appreciate the artistry of Hindu shrines and statues.
Climb up 272 steps to get to the main cave which is the Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave. Once inside, you will be amazed by the spacious interior with its 100-metre high ceiling and ornate shrines. Sunlight streams from a few holes on the ceiling, offering a glimpse of the bright blue Malaysian sky from the darkness of the cave.
Get some adventure and learning via a guided tour at the Dark Cave. This bat-filled cave is also home to interesting harmless cave creatures. Just stick to the tour path and marvel at the amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations. If you feel more adventurous, take the extended Dark Cave Adventure Tour and explore the darkest parts of the cave through the Crawl Passage.
If you don’t feel like sweating out from step-climbing or seeing creepy crawlies, opt for the Cave Villa, also known as Art Gallery and Museum Cave, situated at the bottom of the steps. Inside the caves are statues and paintings that reflect Hindu heritage. You can also delight in the koi fish and tortoises at the pond inside the cave.
The Batu Caves is a place of worship so avoid wearing skimpy clothes. Entrance to the Temple Cave is free while the other caves can be accessed for a small fee.
Macaque monkeys abound in the area so keep a watchful eye and be careful with your belongings. These monkeys tend to grab anything that they desire especially plastic bags which could contain food items.