Batu Caves is one of the top tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that dates back to 400 million years. Every year hundreds of thousands of travelers congregate here from all over the world to see this amazing place. I was lucky to see this distinctive geographical attraction during my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. It was only a few minutes drive from the Kuala Lumpur hotel I was staying at. Any visitor to this beautiful city should definitely visit this natural plus man-made wonder.
Batu Caves: A Top Kuala Lumpur Tourist Attraction
Just north of Kuala Lumpur is the impressive towering limestone cave, famously known as ‘Batu Caves‘. It is one of the most important Hindu religious sites outside of India – the birth place of Hinduism. The caves were officially discovered around 120 years ago by India traders, although it has been there for over 400 million years. Approaching the caves, the first thing you notice is a towering golden statue of Lord Murugan. Erected in 2006, this statue is the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. The statue leads to the 272 steps that goes up to the cave.
While climbing, many travelers like myself were spellbound by the monkeys. As you make your way up the steps, you will be entertained by the monkeys that feed off the steady stream of treats given by tourists. Half way up is one of the perfect places for taking pictures, but pay attention to your belongings. The monkeys make great subjects for photos, but inevitably end up stealing from and even biting the occasional tourist. Resting points along the stairs provide nice views of the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.
Once you reach the top, rising almost above you, you will notice the spectacular wonder of nature before your eyes. Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as the Temple Cave has a 300-feet high ceiling and features Hindu shrines. Inside you will find various Hindu shrines. The second one, which is the Dark Cave is the wildest of the three caves. This cave harbors brilliant limestone formations and is the home of endangered trapdoor Spider. The third cave is the Art Gallery Cave located at the foot of the steps. Statues and wall painting depicts Hindu deities and mythology. The walk to the entrance of this cave is quit a pleasant experience as you pass by a lake and pond filled with colorful fish.
The colorful Thaipusam festival brings millions of pilgrims to Batu Caves, making it a top attraction in Kuala Lumpur. Thaipusam is a three day festival during which the Lord Muruga’s silver chariot make its way from Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown to the caves. Highlights include devotees in a trance carrying kavadi – a metal frame attached to the body. Even if you don’t have the chance to visit during Thaipusum festival, the place is still beautiful to explore. Pooja’s happen daily inside the Batu Caves.
Once you climb down towards the entrance, you can rest while feeding pigeons. There are hundreds of pigeons at the entrance and it has become a mini attraction on its own. Lot of tourists feed the birds and take photographs with them. When I was by the entrance after climbing down, these birds were flying around in circles very low. It was fun to be around them.
Getting To Batu Caves
Of course you’ll have to visit Malaysia first. If you’re coming from Canada, you can use Air Canada to fly here. The Batu Caves are located in the Gombak district, a northern suburb of Kuala Lumpur just eight miles from the city center.
Riding a bus to the Batu Caves in city traffic can take up to 45 minutes. You are better off taking a train to the north and then transferring to bus or taxi for the remainder of the trip.
Arrange to have a driver pick you up from your hotel.
Take the Monorail north to the Chow Kit station. Take bus U6 to the caves and be sure to keep your ticket for the return journey (the bus tickets are valid all day).
Things To Know Before Visiting Batu Caves
- Admission is free
- The caves are open all year from 7:00am to 7:00pm
- The area is not very handicap-accessible, so senior travelers may have difficulty getting up the stairs to the entrances
- The wild caves are very muddy; bring a change of clothes if you plan to take any of the spelunking tours
- There are stalls and restaurants offering Indian food outside the entrance of the Batu Caves. I’d suggest you make your way back to Kuala Lumpur for better quality food at lower prices
- Bring your own drinking water to avoid being overcharged
You won’t regret climbing 272 steps when you see the nature’s wonders at the top. Have you visited Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur?