Batu Caves - a Sacred Hindu Temple in Malaysia
Malaysia's Batu Caves
Batu Cave is the site of a sacred Hindu shrine just outside of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Easily accessible as a day trip from the city, Batu Caves are a colorful, interesting, and uniquely spiritual site. The shrine inside the Batu Caves is considered to be one of the most important Hindu shrines in Malaysia.
Arriving at the caves, climb the 272 steps up to the Temple Cave. A tall golden statue of the Hindu deity Lord Murugan looks down on the hundreds of tourists and pilgrims who visit the sacred caves each day. This statue holds the unique distinction as the second-tallest Hindu statue in the world!
The Temple Cave at Batu Caves
Also known as "The Cathedral Cave", Temple Cave is the largest in Batu Caves. This is the site of a small, but important and popular Hindu Shrine. The shrine is host to a number of important Hindu festivals and celebrations each year.
The Batu Malai Sri Murugan Temple inside the cave is one of the most important Hindu temples in Malaysia. This temple calculates and submits the annual Hindu calendar to the Malaysian government, and is the site of Malaysia's yearly Thaipusam festival. It's become a pilgrimage site for Malaysian and foreign Hindus alike.
The caves have been a holy site since the 1890s when the first shrine was constructed inside the large, open cave.
Tourists my visit the shrines, but must dress and behave appropriately (see below).
Monkeys at Batu Caves
One popular sight for visitors to see are the playful monkeys who live at the cave. Though they may look cute, monkeys can become aggressive. Be careful with your food and your valuables.
Dark Cave Tour at Batu Caves
Sign up for a guided educational tour (English available) at the Dark Cave, an ecological conservation area. The tour focuses on the unique biodiversity of Batu Cave's Dark Cave.
If you are really brave, sign up for a three-hour caving adventure tour.
How to get to the Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur by train
Batu Cave can be reached quickly and easily by train. Trains leave KL Sentral Station every half hour. Take the KTM Komuter Line from KL Sentral to Batu Caves. A ticket costs only RM 2, and takes about 25 minutes.
Batu Caves Station is the eighth and final stop on the KTM Komuter Train line.
Admission, Hours, and Dress Code at Batu Caves
7:00-19:00 daily; FREE admission
9:30-17:00 daily; educational tour RM 35 ($9) per person
Dress Code at Batu Caves
As a Hindu temple, the caves have a strict conservative dress code. Women must cover their shoulders and knees. Shorts and short skirts are not allowed. If you do not wear appropriate clothing, you will have to rent a sarong in front of the temple. Men too should dress politely and modestly. Sleeveless shirts are not appropriate.