Deep inside a lime stone mountain just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, there is a cave. A huge cathedral like cave with walls that stretch almost to the sky, with birds flying high above, and wild monkeys running up its rock faced walls. This is Batu Caves, the most important Hindu temple outside of India, dedicated to Lord Murugan, an Indian deity. It has become a pilgrimage site for not only Malaysian Hindus, but Hindus worldwide from countries such as India, Australia and Singapore.
Of course we had to go check it out while we were in Kuala Lumpur! Once we got off the train (the mountain is located 13 km north of KL), we were met by some huge and colorful Hindu gods. To the left of the entrance is a gigantic (15 meter tall) version of the Hindu god Hanuman, and a temple dedicated to Hanuman. Hanuman was an devotee of Rama according to the Hindu legends. Hanuman participated in Rama’s war against the demon king Ravana, and several texts also present him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Once we had passed a couple of temples at the foot of the mountain, we came to a huge open area, with several food vendors. And from there we got the first glimpse of the steps we had to climb to get to the main temple, and there were a LOT of steps to climb! 272 steps to be exact. Yep, I can tell you our thighs hurt, it sure was a good workout! 🙂
To the left of the stairs is the world`s tallest statue of Lord Murugan (43 meter high), a Hindu god. Many of the shrines also relate to the story of Lord Murugan’s victory over the demon Soorapadam.
The Murugan statue is gigantic, and very shiny especially when the sun is up. You actually have to wear sunglasses to be able to look at it. 🙂
The Murugan statue was quite a project to build:
- Cost: approximately 24 million rupees (392 830 US$)
- Made of: 1550 cubic meters of concrete and 250 tonnes of steel bars
- Gold paint: 300 liters
- All materials were brought in from Thailand
Pretty impressive and a bit crazy!
On the way up we met quite a few monkeys, as there is a whole colony of monkeys living in the caves, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily.
The monkeys did not seem very friendly! Several of them did pose a biting hazard to some small children, and they seem quite territorial.
Finally up, the cave turned out to be HUGE! The Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones.
The biggest is called Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, and houses several Hindu shrines. It has a very high ceiling, also with a whole that leads up to the jungle and the sky.
There were several Hindu ceremonies taking place inside the cave while we visited.
We walked around the caves a bit, taking in the relaxed and spiritual atmosphere and cool air, before walking the 272 steps down.
On our way down we got the chance to really have a look at and admire the roof of the buildings. They are all beautifully decorated with Hindu gods.
Our trip to the Batu Caves was a very nice afternoon excursion. The cave was impressive, and so were all the gigantic and colorful Hindu god statues outside the cave on the ground floor. Even though the climb up the 272 steps was a big exhausting, it was totally worth it!
If you are looking for other things to do in Kuala Lumpur, check out our 8 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur!
Capri by Fraser It's a little outside of the center, but the MRT runs right by so it takes just a few minutes to KL Central. Villa Samadhi Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur
We stayed at the apartment hotel Capri by Fraser. It is amazing! The apartments are huge, with a balcony with an impressive view over KL, a fully equipped kitchen and the biggest bathroom we have ever seen.
And the rooftop swimming pool, ah, it is the best!! Highly recommend you to stay here if you are going to Kuala Lumpur! Excellent value for your money.
Villa Samadhi is an oasis and green lung away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, but still located in the city. It has a great swimming pool in a big green garden, and the hotel is spectacular.
This is a brand new apartment hotel, with stunning apartment rooms with fully equipped kitchen. It is located only a 5-minute walk away from the popular Changkat area with its famous eateries and bars. It truly is a home away from home. It is very reasonably priced for this kind of luxury.
We stayed at this hotel a couple of nights and enjoyed it a lot. It has a beautiful rooftop pool with an excellent view over the city. It is convenient located right by KL central train station.
Capri by Fraser
It's a little outside of the center, but the MRT runs right by so it takes just a few minutes to KL Central.
Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
We used Lonely Planet`s Malaysia guide book on our trip. It was very good! You can buy that and some other great Malaysia books from Amazon:
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