Batu Caves, named after the Batu River that runs through the area, is a perfect blend of both, a natural and a man-made wonder. With the hollow limestone tower, which is believed to be around for 400 million years, formed during the pre-historic era, said to be discovered by an American Naturalist William Hornaday, and the 100-year-old Hindu temple, founded by an Indian merchant named K. Thamboosamy Pillai, it has too much to give to your explorer and spiritual self.
Located a few kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves are situated in Gombak, Selangor.
Best time to visit:
It is a must-visit attraction for tourists for both, spiritual or non-spiritual purposes. If the weather is the factor which determines the time of your visit, we’d suggest visiting in summers, mainly around June as it has fewer chances of downpour and weather is really warm.
How to reach:
Since it is situated right beside the highway of the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road-2 in Batu Caves area, it is easily accessible by car or taxi. If you prefer public transport, you can take the KTM Komuter train service from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Batu Caves. One can also use the monorail service from KL Sentral to Titiwangsa station. Take a bus service to Batu Caves from there. There are other direct bus services available too from Central Market and Jalan Pudu to the Caves.
Places to explore:
Batu Caves is famous for its giant limestone caves and the 100-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu deity of war. The mouth of the limestone cave has a strong resemblance to ‘vel’, the head of a celestial spear, which is why it’s considered to a natural wonder. The caves have been visited by millions of pilgrims since the past 120 years or so. As a tribute to these divine steps, a 140 feet tall golden painted statue of Lord Murugan was erected during 2006, at the entrance of the Temple Cave.
Apart from the Temple Cave, there is also Art and Museum cave, which witnesses several Hindu paintings and statues, at the base of the cave. The caves are home to a large number of monkeys. Don’t forget to visit the Dark Cave to explore more of the natural beauty.
There are many hotels and accommodation facilities available near the Batu Caves at reasonable prices. Though, if you’re staying at Kuala Lumpur itself, it is not much of a hassle to reach here.
Where and what to eat:
Being one of the biggest tourist attractions, the Batu Caves are surrounded by several restaurants serving authentic cuisines from all over the world, be it Malaysian, Thai, Chinese or Indian, you get what you ask for. There are also many Indian restaurants occupying the bottom of the 272 steps of Batu Caves.
Things to keep in mind:
- You have to climb the 272 steps on your own, make sure you’re prepared with your stamina and enthusiasm. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds and the end result is way too beautiful to be missed.
- If crowd doesn’t bother you and you would rather explore the overwhelming madness (a good one) of this beautiful place, don’t forget to visit on the three-day Thaipusam festival in late January or early February. You’ll witness thousands of pilgrims in and around the vicinity performing various spiritual activities.
- Don’t forget to check the timings of the visiting hours of the Caves as it varies time-to-time.
- Each cave has some entry fees, except for the Temple Cave.