Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Climbing up Batu Caves! - Day 2 in Malaysia

I was pretty excited to see more of Malaysia on my second day. After exploring Chinatown and seeing the Petronas Twin Towers, I was starting to like the city! Batu Caves was out first destination for the day, though not exactly part of Kuala Lumpur, but we went to see it as it was very close to KL.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves, Malaysia
We got off at Central station that morning to transfer to KTM Komuter. We used our MyRapid card going to Batu Caves, but on our train ride going back to Central Station, we were only then informed that we cannot use the card and was penalized to pay 30RM! The train officials couldn't speak good English so we couldn't argue if that was even valid as the officials on the Batu Caves station didn't tell us off when we swiped our MyRapid card. So just a heads up that the Komuter line uses a different card. We could have paid probably 2RM only for both ways if we were only informed. Tsk.

I just reminded myself that the 30RM was used for the convenient ride in the train, the speed was fast and very convenient because Batu Caves station was very near to the entrance. I was really surprised on how cheap it could have been given the distance of the place from Central Station. FYI, Batu Caves is the last stop for the Komuter train route.

Batu Caves is one of Malaysia's famoust tourist attractions located at Gombak districk, 8 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and is also known for its large gold statue of Lord Morugan.

The caves is said to be 400 million years old already but was only founded to be a site for Hindu worship in 1890 by K. Thamboosamy Pillai (the same founder of Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur). The place is also the main location of Thaipusam festival in the country that occurs every January or February every year.

entrance to Batu Caves proper

We were greeted by a large statue of a green monkey deity upon entering, there was also a small shrine nearby the entrance but it seems that no one goes up there except for Indians. Walking further, we also saw some Indian restaurants that caters to tourists who wanted to take a quick bite before taking the journey to the caves or some refreshments to those who have already been up to the cave and wants replenish their thirst. There were also some stalls that sell souvenirs, clothes, and other snacks.

There were three main points of the area, the first one to catch our attention was the Cave Villa or also known as the Art gallery which is a paid section that showcases Hindu art displays and carvings in the caves that depict tales of the Ramayana and stories of Lord Murugan. We were supposed to go here after going up the Temple Cave but dismissed of the plan as it rained later on.

malaysia travel blog

Batu Caves malaysia
entrance to Cave Villa

After few minutes, we were able to see the most photographed section of the Batu Caves, the grand statue of Lord Murugan. The newly erected statue, unveiled just last 2006, stands 140 feet high and is said to cost 2.5 million Ringgit and took 3 years in construction. I think it is not made of gold, but just with gold paint. :)

Batu Caves statue
the gigantic statue of Lord Murugan
Batu Caves hinduism
Hindu family who just got down from the cave

The journey doesn't stop just by having photos of the large statue. We ventured on taking the 272 concrete steps leading up to the Temple Cave.  Fortunately for us, we were not able to encounter the famous notorious monkeys in the area.

I haven't been doing much physical activity lately and my last experience of any strenuous climbing was at Sunrise Peak in Jeju, Korea. The climb was manageable, but it would have been nice to see a cable car service especially for those people with a weak heart or rheumatism.

Batu Caves malaysia
the "obligatory" self picture at Batu Caves
hinduism malaysia
Batu Caves, Malaysia
Batu Caves
the entrance to the stairs
yep, no monkeys :)
Batu Caves
the view at the top of Batu Caves

Once you've reached the top, you can now see the entrance to the Main Cave. There's a bench so in case you get breathless, you can rest there for a bit. Walk your way through to the rear cavern that has a natural opening at the top that allows light to sneak in in the rest of the cave area. The distance to the main and rear cavern could take up 5-10 minutes but it was a bit dark and you couldn't really see much of the stone formations there. There are also some bats around the area so expect to step on something...

Almost there! Yipee! \(^___^)/
finally! at the top!

Batu Caves
rear cavern going to Temple Cave

There was only a small Hindu shrine in the Temple Cave, which is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The entire place felt very spiritual especially with the light effect of the cave. There were some Indians worshipping on the site but most of the people there were too busy to take pictures. The area felt very touristy to me and I hope the travelers there appreciate the essence of why Batu Caves was established for, and not just by being there for a tourist attraction. The Temple Cave also offers great views of rock formations.

hinduism malaysia
The Temple of Batu Caves

some of the cool rock formations inside Temple Cave
Let there be light!
poor bird

After half an hour, we finally decided to go down and explore more. We finally saw the last of the three caves which was the Dark Cave. We decided not to go inside as it was starting to rain hard and we were not dressed for spelunking. The tour will also require you to pay a fee but I heard that you'd be able to see nice limestone formations and some of the cave animals such as an arachnid called the Trapdoor Spider that is already an endangered species.

The Dark Cave
people signing up for the tour, protective gears are provided

It was an awesome experience to be able to go to whole Batu Caves It surely gave a different light on how I see Hinduism as a religion and has opened to more understanding on the Hindu's beliefs and culture. It's also one of a kind what with the elaborate designs of the place and the thought of having a religious site inside a cave! It's one of those places not to be missed when you're around Kuala Lumpur.

Batu Caves
Hagardo Versoza at Batu Caves!

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

Day 2: Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves

Merdeka Square

Day 3: Putrajaya / Shah Alam
Pink and Blue Mosque

City Tour

Day 4: Malacca/Melaka
City Tour

Food Tour

Day 5: Kuala Lumpur

Day 6: Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple

Day 7: Penang
George Town

Street Art

Day 8: Penang

Malaysia Travel Report
Itinerary and Tips


  1. Hi. Was there a train direct to Batu Caves or do we have to get down somewhere and walk or take a bus? :)

    1. Hello Batang Suroyan!
      Yup there is a direct train, take the KTM Komuter and if I remember correctly Batu Caves is in the last station. As soon as you get off the station, you'll arrive at Batu Caves entrance after 3-5minutes walk.

    2. Thank you. How many minutes did the train ride from Sentral station to the last station take by the way? My itinerary is mostly based on your blog entries on Malaysia actually. So much helpful :)

    3. Sorry I didn't note the time, but according to this site "From Batu Caves to Kuala Lumpur, approximately 26 minutes" http://www.ktmkomuter.com.my/faqs/faq.php#here

      Glad to be of help!

  2. hi, how long did it take you to finish the tour around batu caves?

    1. hello, took us around an hour or so to climb up and roam around the cave


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