Located just 10km outside of Kuala Lumpur city are the Batu Caves. The caves are one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and are dedicated to Lord Murugan who stands tall at the entrance to the caves.
Standing of 42.7m, this is the tallest statue of Murugan in the world. Costing 24million rupees to build, he is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint.
Rising almost 100m above the ground, the Batu Caves consist of four main caves and a few smaller ones. Temple Cave, Dark Cave, Cave Villa and Ramayana Cave. On this occasion we decided to just visit Temple Cave which has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines.
To reach it, you must climb a steep flight of 272 steps which sounds easy until you factor in 30 degree sun and serious humidity.
After a very sweaty ascent, dodging fellow climbers and the hungry Macaques, we reached the entrance to Temple Cave. Greeted by the smell of incense we were amazed, and a little intimidated, by it’s sheer size.
The Batu Caves are made of limestone rock and are thought to be 400 million years old. Stalactites hang perilously from the ceiling overhead providing both shelter and danger, you certainly wouldn’t want one of them to fall off whilst you’re inside.
As we made our way through Temple Cave we passed several ornate Hindu shrines dedicated to different gods; Ganesh, Rama and Murugan, of course, are just a few I recognised.
Towards the back of the cave you climb another set of stairs and enter the second, and final, chamber. Turn around and take another look at what you’ve just walked through, amazing right?!
The Batu Caves are definitely worth a visit when in Kuala Lumpur, they are so easy to get to, it’d be a real shame to miss them.
Temple Cave – free!
Dark Cave – RM35 per adult (bear in mind it’s not always open).
Cave Villa – RM15 for foreigners, RM7 for Malaysian residents.
Ramayana Cave – RM5 per adult.
*prices may vary, these are what I’ve found to be correct through researching online.
Daily from 7am – 8pm.
What to wear
As this is a place of worship you should dress appropriately and conservatively i.e. no short shorts or low cut tops. If you’re wearing anything too revealing (boys included) you will need to wear a sari, provided at the entrance for a small deposit.
How to get there
You could pay for a half day excursion with a tour operator but I think you’d be disappointed. Instead, save your money and make your own way to the caves. You can catch a taxi or Uber, or even take your own mode of transport (there is limited parking). Or you can catch the train. The KL Komuter train stops just outside the caves. Approximately a 40 minute journey from KL Sentral to Batu Caves costing RM2 each way (that’s 36p to you and I). Once at the caves you can decide how long you spend there and whether you want to go into any of the others, rather than be dictated to by a tour group, plus you saved a few quid for a beer when you get back to town.
Food and drink
Whilst we’re on the topic, there are several shops and stalls where you can buy bottled water and taste some Indian street food. Prices are low and variety is wide.
Bonus Macaque photo: