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.

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Several colorful Hindu gods inside and outside the Batu cave temple. Hanuman to the right.

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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! 🙂

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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!

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Beautiful statues painted in gold, both next to the stairs and on the roof of the temples.

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On our way up to the Cave Temple, 272 steps!

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.

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Numerous monkeys live in the caves, and they tend to come down to the stairs to find/ steal food from visitors and in the garbage bins.

Finally up, the cave turned out to be HUGE! The Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones.

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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.

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The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old.

There were several Hindu ceremonies taking place inside the cave while we visited.

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The main cave is impressively huge!

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We walked around the caves a bit, taking in the relaxed and spiritual atmosphere and cool air, before walking the 272 steps down.

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The Batu Caves Temple is 100 meter above ground.

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.

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Several Hindu gods on the roof of a building.

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Different variations of the Hindu god Ganesh on the roof of one of the temples on the ground.

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A beautiful male angel on the roof of a temple. The cave also had some hens wandering about!

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!


Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is one of our favorite hotel cities in the world, with a great combination of high standards and reasonable prices. Here you can find plenty of excellent accommodation on any budget.  Below are some of our favorites at different price ranges.

Top End

The Majestic

Our stunning room at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Beautiful colonial decor at the Majestic Hotel

Build in 1932 as Kuala Lumpur's first luxury hotel, The Majestic has been host to royals and celebrities. A massive restoration project finished in 2012, and today it perfectly mixes old world luxury with modern five-star comforts.
Rarely have we been met with such genuine warm service and smiles. Staying at the Majestic is a unique experience in its self.
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Traders Hotel

Petronas Towers

The sparkling Petronas Towers

With arguably the city’s best view of the world-famous Petronas Towers and with KLCC park as it’s closest neighbor the Traders Hotel’s location is just unbeatable!

Its famous Skybar on the 33rd floor is a cool place to hang out and enjoy a drink. The rooms are large and comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows but could do with a little refresher. But the view, oh that view...
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Mid Range

Hotel Stripes

Hotel Stripes KL

Awesome rooftop infinity pool and bar at Hotel Stripes

Hotel Stripes is a new hotel (2017) that impressed us in every way. We loved the stylishly and ultra-comfortable rooms with small touches like the free refill of soft drinks and water, and the rooftop infinity pool and bar with its spectacular view of KL Tower.
Located just a few minutes walk away from the Dang Wangi subway station and the Medan Tuanku monorail station, it is also a great base from which to explore the city. Hotel Stripes is our favorite hotel in the downtown of the city.
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KL Journal

The reception at Journal Hotel

The reception at KL Journal Hotel

KL Journal is our favorite mid-range hotel in the Bukit Bintang area. This cozy boutique hotel is located on a quiet side street yet you are just a few minutes walk away from world-class shopping and entertainment, delicious street food, tons of restaurants and nightlife.

The newly restored infinity rooftop swimming pool and bar area is a lovely place to relax.
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Lanson Place (Apartments)

Lansons Place KL Pool

The huge swimming pool at Lansons Place

If you’re looking for an apartment, then Lanson Place is tough to beat. Large, modern and fully equipped apartments within an easy walking distance of Bukit Bintang.

The swimming pool is enormous, and there are a children’s pool and playground, as well as a well-equipped fitness center.
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Capri by Fraser (Apartments)

Capri by Fraser Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Breathtaking views from the rooftop pool at Capri by Fraser Hotel

We keep returning to The Capri hotel and it has over the years become our favorite KL hotel. It is located in a quiet upscale residential area in Bangsar South just a 10-minutes train ride from KL Central. Here things move a little slower and provide a nice escape from the hectic city, yet there are plenty of excellent restaurants and shopping malls around.
The apartments are huge and modern, and there are both studio and one/ two/three-bedroom apartments available. The large infinity rooftop pool is truly spectacular! ♥
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Budget

Paper Plane Hostel
Originally an old shophouse that has been converted into a hostel. Paper Plane Hostel has a quirky, cozy interior design with super clean, air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds, and spotless bathrooms and most importantly super friendly and helpful hosts. Bukit Bintang is just a 10-minute walk away, and the nearby VCR Coffee & Cakes Cafe serves tasty granola, coffee, and cakes!
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⇒ Read our complete guide on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Malaysia travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:

Malaysia Lonely Planet      Malaysia Pocket Guide   Malaysia Rough Guide


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Hoover over the picture below, and press the green PIN IT button that pops up:

BATU CAVES

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