Explore the Serene and Mesmerizing Batu Caves
Lord Murugan Statue
This 140 feet tall spear-wielding statue is definitely the most distinctive object featured in the Batu Caves. Constructed using 350 tons of steel bar and coated with 300 liters of gold paint, it is considered as the second tallest Hindu deity statue in the world, and the tallest statue in Malaysia. The grandeur of this majestic figure can be seen from the effort in making the statue. The construction took 3 years to complete and involved 15 sculptors from India. All in all, it costs a staggering 2.5 million Malaysian Ringgit to build.
Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave
These are the first caves that every visitor would encounter as both of them were situated at the base of the hill of Batu Caves. Both attractions featured the story of the battle between Lord Murugan and the demon Soorapadman in the form of paintings, statues, reliefs, etc. The caves are renovated and merged as Cave Villa in 2008. It has many beautiful attractions such as a koi pond, conceptual restaurant, cultural stage for various performances, and many others. It also featured interactive audio-visual elements to further entertain its guests.
Also known as Temple Cave, the Cathedral Cave is the biggest temple complex is the Batu Caves. It is perched atop the 100 meter-high hill and visitors must climb an arduous journey through 272 flights of stairs to reach it. Certainly one of the best ways to burn your fat while admiring the mesmerizing scenery along the way. The stairs were originally made from wood in 1920, and have been changed to the 272 concrete steps that we all know today. The temple is famed for having a high-vaulted ceiling and contains several ornate shrines dedicated to Lord Murugan. Visitors can see many beautiful flora and fauna along their way to the top, not to mention the beautiful landscape as well. The most common fauna is probably the macaques – a species of monkey that is common throughout Southeast Asia. The monkeys can be aggressive as they are territorial creatures, so visitors must take a good care during their visit.
Located in the far left of the hill, the Ramayana Cave contains a relief that depicts the famed chronicle of Ramayana along the cave walls. You can also see a 15 meter tall Hanuman statue on your way to the Ramayana Cave. Hanuman himself is a major character in the Ramayana story, as he is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, the main character.
How to Get Tickets?
Admission to the Batu Caves is free. However, some of the caves have their own separate admission fees. For example, the Cave Villa (formerly the Art Gallery & Museum Caves) costs 15 RM to non-Malaysians to enter. Prices are subject to change so visitors should check it by themselves when they arrive in the location.
How To Get Around?
The only possible way to explore this place is on foot
What Should I Wear?
Since Malaysia is located in a tropical climate zone, visitors are expected to wear light clothing to cope with the heat, especially during dry season. However, please be advised that the Batu Caves is a religious site, so please try to wear pants with a length that at least will cover your knees and shirts that cover your stomach and shoulders. Otherwise, there will be some peddlers or hawkers offering sarongs-for-rent to cover your body if your clothes are too revealing. It can be quite expensive as you are in no position to negotiate as it is compulsory. So just wear decent clothes to avoid that from happening.
Best Time to Visit
A visit to the Batu Caves usually lasts about 2-4 hours. Try to visit early in the morning to avoid the extreme heat during the noon. During the dry season, the heat can be too overbearing especially to those who come from a colder climate. If you want to visit during the Thaipusam festival, be warned that there will be hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors attending the ceremony, so the place will be extremely over-crowded. However, you will get to see the mesmerizing Thaipusam procession, which certainly will be an unforgettable experience.
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Will I Need a Guide?
Many temples and sites offer a tour guide, and some of them are compulsory. For instance, a visit to the Dark Cave requires a guided tour as the cave is quite dangerous if explored alone. If you go to Batu Caves using rented cars, chances are they will be offering a packaged tour that come together with the car. If you don't want the hassle of traveling using public transportation, it might be worth it to take that instead. However, you will probably need to haggle as the offered price will be quite expensive.
How To Get There?
The bus station in Puduraya has two routes that go to the Batu Caves, the 11/11d and U6 and the journey usually takes about 45 minutes. A more preferable method is to travel using the train from the KL Sentral as it is faster and cheaper. You can also easily reach the Batu Caves using a car.
As the area has a lot of wild animals, such as monkeys and bats, it is advisable to watch your belongings and kids, if you bring any. This is especially true in the case with the monkeys, as they are known to steal your stuff if you are not wary and getting them back will be very hard sometimes. They can also be aggressive if you trespass their territory so please watch yourself and your kids if you are getting too close with the animals. During the high-season where it can gets very crowded, you also need to watch for pickpockets, which is a rule of thumb when traveling throughout Southeast Asia.