- Location: Located in Gombak district, 13 km north of the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
- Attraction Type: Cave.
- Significance: The series of caves and cave temples, known to the whole world for its Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
- Best time to Visit: Can be visited throughout the year. Thaipusam festival during the month of January/February is also a popular time to visit.
- Visiting Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- How to Reach: Reach Kuala Lumpur International Airport. From the city of Kuala Lumpur, you can take a taxi or public buses (11 & 11d) from the Puduraya Bus Terminal to reach Batu Caves.
- Nearest Airport: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL).
It is the series of caves and cave temples that have attracted thousands of travelers from all parts of the world, especially the Hindus from Asia. Yes, we are talking about Batu Caves, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malaysia. Actually a limestone hill, Batu Caves has been named after the Sungai Batu or Batu River that flows past the hill. Dedicated to Lord Murugan, it is one of the most popular Hindu shrines located outside India. Apart from its amazing cave works and cave temples, Batu Caves is also known to the whole world for its Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which attracts more than 1.5 million pilgrims every year. Thus it becomes one of the largest gatherings anywhere in the world.
Located in Gombak district, 13 km north of the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Batu Caves consists of three main caves and several smaller caves. The caves, discovered in 1892 and made up of limestone, can be of 400 meters long and 100 meters high.
Things to Do
A 141 feet tall gigantic statue of Lord Murugan at the Sri Subramaniar Temple will welcome you at the entrance of Batu Caves. As you pass through the huge statue, a steep climb is waiting for you. You need to climb up to 272 steps before you can enter into the caves. The stairway is divided into two steps, each of which leads to a landing. As you go up to the caves, you will find long-tailed macaques hanging around and waiting for treats from you.
There are three main caves viz. Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave, Dark Cave and Gallery Cave, which you will come to see while visiting Batu Caves. The Temple Cave is the largest and also the best known of all caves. It is a wonderful sight to see the area getting illuminated by daylight through the holes in the ceiling. The elaborated painted sculptures of various Hindu gods are just fabulous.
Dark Cave is one of the greatest attractions of Batu caves, located below the Temple Cave. The amazing rock foundation and a number of endemic cave animals have made this cave pretty popular among the visitors. The stalactites jutting from the ceiling of the cave, as well as the stalagmites rising from the floor seem like the curtain of the cave. Before you can visit the Dark Cave, you need permission from the Malaysian Nature Society.
Gallery Cave is the place for various art items. The awesome graphic depictions here could just make you spellbound. Vallurvar Kottam is covered with statuary exhibits, inscriptions and murals. The statue of five-legged bull is another attraction here.
The Thaipusam Festival
The Thaipusam Festival is perhaps the biggest attraction of the Batu Caves. More than 1.5 million pilgrims attend this festival every year on Thaipusam. A huge procession starts before the festival at the Sri Marianmman Temple in Kuala Lumpur at evening. The Kavadis, a miniature of the shrine is placed on the shoulders of the devotees. Women carry milk-full of silver jugs on their heads.
Those who want to visit Batu Caves, need to stay at Kuala Lumpur. And there are plenty of options for accommodation in the capital of Malaysia. Some of the hotels in Kuala Lumpur can be named as below:
Piccolo Hotel Kuala Lumpur 101, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100, Kuala Lumpur
Swiss Garden Hotel 117 Jalan Pudu,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia