Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
Deep inside a lime stone mountain just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, there is a cave. A huge cathedral like cave with walls that stretch almost to the sky, with birds flying high above, and wild monkeys running up its rock faced walls. This is Batu Caves, the most important Hindu temple outside of India, dedicated to Lord Murugan, an Indian deity.
Of course we had to go check it out while we were in Kuala Lumpur! From outside our hotel we took a taxi who drove us up to the batu caves. We did enraged a packages price and he waited for us on the parking space at Batu Caves for our return.
As you enter the parking space there is huge open area, with several food vendors. And from there we got the first glimpse of the steps we had to climb to get to the main temple, and there were a LOT of steps to climb! 272 steps to be exact.
To the right of the stairs is the world`s tallest statue of Lord Murugan (43 meter high), a Hindu god. Many of the shrines also relate to the story of Lord Murugan’s victory over the demon Soorapadam. The Murugan statue is gigantic, and very shiny especially when the sun is up. The Murugan statue was quite a project to build:
- Cost: approximately 24 million rupees (392 830 US$)
- Made of: 1550 cubic meters of concrete and 250 tonnes of steel bars
- Gold paint: 300 liters
- All materials were brought in from Thailand
On the way up we met quite a few monkeys, as there is a whole colony of monkeys living in the caves, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily.
The monkeys did not seem very friendly! Several of them did pose a biting hazard to some small children, and they seem quite territorial.
Finally up, the cave turned out to be HUGE! The Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones.
The biggest is called Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, and houses several Hindu shrines. It has a very high ceiling, also with a whole that leads up to the jungle and the sky.