One of the 13 states of Malaysia, Selangor the is the wealthiest, most urbanized and culturally popular state. But what makes Selangor more prevalent in Kuala Lumpur and distinguish it from other states? They are Batu Caves – a natural and man-made spectacle which tempts tourist from worldwide to pay a visit at Selangor? Do you know about them? What is special in these caves? Why they are so proclaimed among the devotees and citizens of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur?
Get all these answers in my blog and add Batu caves in your travel bucket list of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Batu Caves – Religious Epitome of Malaysia
Batu Caves are located around 11 km to the north of Kuala Lumpur in Selangor state. These caves are most frequently visited tourist destination of Kuala Lumpur and famous Hindu religious shrines in whole Malaysia. These caves are around 400year old features for both the stunning limestone structures and religious temple of the Hindu faith. Also, these temples are 100year old and feature idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. The temple inside the cave is considered an important religious landmark Malasiya by Hindus.
The main highlight of these caves is the statue of Lord Murugan which is standing tall outside of the temple. The height of this statue of Lord Murugan is around 140 feet/ 42 m and coloured with the golden shade. It is also an iconic attribute treated as a national treasure in Malaysia. Adjacent to the statue of Lord Murugan, you can observe colourful staircases from where you can reach the top of the caves and visit the temples inside the caves.
These colourful staircases at the entrance has many pictures of caves carved on them which made Batu Caves this much recognised. Once you reach the top, you will observe large open caves with some small shrines, numerous colourful statues of Hindu gods and limestone cliffs.
Inside Glimpses of Batu Caves
Make the gradual climb up the concrete stairs comprised of three main caves and a few smaller ones to the cave complex on the limestone hillside. The largest and most popular is known as Temple Cave or Cathedral cave, which has a ceiling over 300 feet high. Inside this cave, you will find various Hindu shrines and ornate depictions bringing legends to life.
At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, which houses multiple Hindu statues and paintings. There is also a Ramayana Cave, which depicts the story of Lord Rama on its walls and is located on the left as you encounter the limestone hill. If you have time make a visit to all the caves.
These caves are highly famous among history buffs and religious travellers; also famous for rock climbing and caves exploration.
Enjoy Thaipusam Festival at Batu Caves
A Hindu Thaipusam festival which organised for 3 days is another highlight of these caves. Every year during Thaipusam, thousands of devotees and international visitors come here for the celebration. The march normally takes place on the end of January at the Sri Mariamman Temple in the city centre of Kaula Lampur in the evening before the Thaipusam Festival.
In the little hours of the morning, a procession often arrives in Batu Caves; then the whole event begins and lasts 8 hours, which is full of colours. Over one million pilgrims have participated in the festival in the past and have been one of the biggest gatherings in the world.
What are Kavadis?
Many devotees bring their offerings and containers of milk – to the Lord Muruga on large, brightly decorated Kavadis. Kavadis are two large semi-circular decorative pieces of wood or steel that are bent and mounted on the shoulders to a cross frame that can be adjusted. The Kavadis are adorned with flowers and peacocks feathers.
It is said that “Some devotees often complete the vows they have made to the Gods by penetrating their bodies with hooks, needles and even skewers, and the devotion of devotees also fascinates tourists”.
As followers have to climb up the 272 steps to reach the top of the caves. Priests wait at the top to sprinkle sanctified ash over the hooks and skewers before they are removed, piercing the skin of the devotee.
Opening Hours: 6 am to 9 pm; Free Entry
How to Visit: Take the Intrakota bus No 11D at Jalan Pudu to Batu Caves from the Central Market or Cityliner bus No 69. Taxis can be seen across town as well.
When to visit the Batu Caves: The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is between December and February when the temperature is slightly cooler and decidedly drier than the rest of the year. When it rains, the caves are a pleasure to explore, but climbing the steps can be hazardous.
This is a fascinating destination for both religious and non-religious visitors. You should wish to explore these limestone Cave for a unique religious experience during your trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Also Read: Gorgeous Places to visit in Malaysia