If you’re heading to Kuala Lumpur, a trip to the Batu Caves is a must. There’s always something new to explore regardless of the number of times visited. The Batu Caves have been in existence for 400 million years. Upon arriving at the site you’ll be stunned by its magnificence. The caves are incredibly stunning. Legends has it that the cave’s mouth looks like the head of a spear, hence the temple was dedicated to the Hindu God of War, Lord Murugan, renowned for his prowess with the spear.
Upon entering the grounds the first thing that will catch your eye is the imposing statue of Lord Murugan covered in gold paint. Built in 2006 and with a height of 140 feet, the complex is home to countless temples dedicated to him. The Batu Caves temple has been the center for Hindu pilgrimage and rituals.
The Grand Festival of Thaipusam
In addition to its impressive attraction, the Batu Caves is also famous for Thaipusam, a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Muruhan. The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from different parts of the world. Some devoted followers and even tourists pierce themselves with hooks and skewers as an act of penance. During this event, the ground of the Batu Caves becomes a vibrant market filled with vendors from Malaysia and India.
The Batu Caves comprises three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest and most popular is the Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave. This cave has a ceiling that is over 100 m high and features a lot of beautifully decorated Hindu shrines where you’ll find many statues of Hindu deities and paintings. You’ll need to climb the 272 steps to access the Temple Cave. While climbing the stairs may seem taxing, it is an experience you’ll never forget
Halfway up the flight of stairs lies the Dark Cave, the second main attraction on the complex. This cave takes you on an educational and adventurous tour. The only drawback is that no one can access the cave without a knowledgeable guide. Here, you’ll find a small community of animals dating back to 100 million years. The cave is also home to the world’s rarest spider, the Trapdoor Spider. For a chance to explore the Dark Cave, you’ll need to book a tour in advance.
If climbing the stairs isn’t your thing, or find the Dark Cave a bit too creepy then check out the Cave Villa which sits at the foot of the hill. This cave features lovely statues, paintings, and interactive pictures and videos about Lord Murugan.
And if you’re looking for a fancier display of statues, head to Ramayana Cave. The major highlight of this cave is the 15-meter tall statue of the monkey god, Hanuman. A tour of this cave takes you back in time to the events of the Ramayana.
Most of the attractions in Batu Caves are free. The main temple, Cathedral Cave, is free for all. The Cave Villa charges RM15 for foreigners and RM7 for Malaysian residents. Visiting the Ramayana Caves requires an admission fee of RM 5 while the entrance fee for Dark Cave depends on the tour package booked.
Whether you are a local visitor or a tourist exploring Kuala Lumpur for a few days, a visit to the world-renowned Batu Caves promises to be intriguing.