Hi guys, hope you all are well and doing fine. Today I am going to be sharing with you regarding a very special place which I had visited on my trip to Malaysia. Yes, as the title says, this blog is about the Batu caves. Batu caves is located in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia and it is approximately 17 km from Kuala Lampur. So basically the Batu caves consist of a series of caves located on a limestone hill. The names ‘Batu’ comes from the Malay word “Bato” meaning “rock”.
What is special about this place?
OK.. So fine.. it’s a series of caves, but what’s so special about it? Batu caves is actually one of the most famous Hindu shrines outside India. This startled me, because I thought that Malaysia was a predominantly Muslim country, and I didn’t know that such famous Hindu temple existed in Malaysia. Pardon my ignorance!! But this is not only a holy shrine, it is also a very popular tourist destination in Malaysia. People of different nationalities and religions visit the Batu caves. So when you reach your destination, the first thing you will see is a 43 meter golden colored tall statue of Lord Murugan (Also called Karthikeya). This statue has been built is a very elegant way and it will for sure catch your eye. What also makes the setting special is that the statue is surrounded by the limestone mountain and its vegetation. The contrast of colors between the statue and its environment make the statue stand out. Next to the statue, you can see a series of steps going up to caves. As per my research, there are 272 steps going to the caves.
The different caves and temples in this area?
I at first thought that the Batu Caves would only consist of a single cave and temple but this is not true. There are 4 different caves and there is a Ram temple located in one of the caves.
So the different caves are as follows:
1. Temple Cave/Cathedral Cave 2. Dark Cave 3. Cave Villa and 4. Ramayana Cave
The Temple cave serves as a temple to Lord Murugan. One has to climb the 272 steps to reach it. It seems easy but I can assure you that it is not so. On the steps to the temple there are many naughty Macaus waiting for a chance to grab food/water from you. It is better not to feed them. Also the entry to the Temple cave is free which means you should not miss the chance to visit it.
The Dark cave is more of an adventure cave and was closed when I visited the Batu Caves. Anyways, I have collected some info. regarding the Dark cave. One can take the educational tour of the Dark Cave which costs around RM 35 for an adult and RM 25 for a child. There is also an adventure tour which costs RM 80 for an adult and RM 55 per child.
If you wouldn’t want to climb all those steps and visit the Temple cave, then you can still visit the Cave Villa which is located at the foot of the limestone hill. The entrance fee for this is RM 15 for foreigners and RM 7 for Malaysian residents. So the Cave Villa contains lots of paintings and statues of Indian Mythology.
The last cave is the Ramayana Cave. In front of the cave, there is a huge statue of the God Hanuman (An important character in the Ramayana epic). As you walk in the cave, you will see series of stautes which depict the series of events which took place in the Ramayana epic. Don’t worry, for those who don’t know much about Ramayana, I will be explaining a bit about it in the upcoming topic. The entrance fee for Ramayana Cave is RM 5.
What is the story behind Batu Caves?
Did you know that the Batu caves is said to 400 million years old! Yes, pretty shocking! And it was not always a place of worship. In fact, Batu caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He wanted to create a temple at the Batu caves in 1890 and in 1892, he installed the idol of Lord Murugan in the Cave temple. Since then, every Jan/Feb the Tamils in Malaysia come to Batu caves to celebrate Thaipusam festival. In 1920, the concrete steps to reach the Cave temple had been constructed. In 2006, the golden statue of Lord Murugan was unveiled to the public. This statue took 3 years to complete the construction.
Explaining stories of Lord Murugan and the Ramayana mythology?
Lord Murugan is one of the most popular Gods in Southern India. What is fascinating is that his popularity is also increasing in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Kartikeya is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati and is known as the God of war. According to the scriptures, his animal of transport is a peacock. He has sometimes been depicted as a person with a single head and in some scriptures, he is depicted as having 6 heads. His main weapon which he carries is a divine spear.
For more info. about Lord Murugan, please visit this link:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7jOgl0yeKU
It contains many interesting facts about Lord Murugan.
The Ramayana is one of the most revered Indian epics. It is a story about Lord Ram and how he saves his kidnapped wife from the Lanka king Ravana. Apart from this, the epic conveys many values and morals which shows how a man can overcome any obstacle he is confronted with. Unfortunately I cannot condense the entire Ramayana epic into a single blog.
So, if you would like to know more about Ramayana, please check out this piece:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana
How to travel to Batu Caves from Kuala Lampur?
Batu caves is around 13km from the Kuala Lampur city. The easiest way to get to the Batu caves is by the KTM commuter train. It is also a price friendly option when compared to travelling by taxi. A one way ticket for a person only costs MR 2.6 and the frequency on trains is also good. The first train to the Batu caves starts at 6:45 AM and the last train is at around 11:24 PM. I would recommend visiting it in the morning.
So, that’s it guys! That’s all from me.. Please do like and follow my blogs for more interesting travel related content