Rising almost 100 meters above ground, the Batu Caves temple complex is a one-of-a-kind group of cave temples located within a massive limestone outcrop in Gombak.
The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps.
The Batu Caves serve as the focus of the Hindu community's yearly Thaipusam festival. They have become a pilgrimage site not only for Malaysian Hindus, but Hindus worldwide, from countries such as India, Australia and Singapore.
The site is also well known for its numerous macaques, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily. These monkeys may also pose a biting hazard to tourists (especially small children) as they can be quite territorial. beaware of them as they are agressive and try to steal things.
The Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main and several smaller caves, all of which are home to many families of long-tailed macaques.
The biggest, known as Temple or Cathedral Cave, features ornate Hindu shrines and has a high ceiling that opens up to the sky. Entry is free, but to reach it, visitors must first climb a steep flight of 272 steps.
Situated to the extreme left as one faces the sheer wall of the hill, this cave boasts psychedelic dioramas of its namesake, the Indian epic Ramayana.
At the base of the hill lies Cave Villa, connected to the rest of the complex by a raised walkway that takes you through a koi pond and water garden. Hourly dance performances are held here amid an intricate backdrop of statues, paintings and shrines dedicated to Hindu deities.
The main path to the Dark Cave begins at step 204 of the 272 concrete steps one must climb to reach the main temple. In total, the Dark Cave comprises over two kilometers of passageways that you can explore by joining a guided tour.
The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines.
- A 140-foot statue of hindu deity Lord Murugan, visible from miles away, stands guard outside Batu Caves.
- The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old.
- It takes its name from the Sungai Batu (Stone River), which flows past the hill.
- This statue is the tallest of a Hindu deity in Malaysia, and the second tallest of its kind in the world, behind only Nepal’s Kailashnath Mahadev Statue.