Monkeying Around Batu Caves
I’ve said in a previous blog post, that if you’ve been in one cave, you’ve been in them all. Well, Malaysia is teaching me thats not the case at all.
Batu Caves. It’s more than just a cave. It’s a temple, a shrine. In fact, it’s one of the most popular shrines outside of India. It’s just a simple 25 minute train ride from Kuala Lumpur’s KL Sentral Station.
Once you arrive, the train drops you off almost right in front of the caves. You can’t miss the largest Murugan statue in the world, standing at 140 feet. Murugan is the Hindu God of War and Victory. The golden statue sits in front of a long stairwell that goes into the caves. In fact there are 272 stairs to the very top, so you do have to have a little bit of stamina to get to the top. During my visit, visitors were asked to carry a brick to the top of the stairs, to help with a construction project of a new temple in the cave. Since there is no entrance fee, I felt like this was a fair trade.
Looking back as you climb up, the skyline of Kuala Lumpur becomes more clear and defined. Yes, you can see the Petronas Towers, and KL Tower.
The cave itself is very large, with religious statues scattered throughout. Water drips from the cave ceiling, so be warned, it’s actually pretty damp in here. Once in the cave, there is another set of stairs that lead to the main shrine. While it is certainly a special spot, the monkeys at the caves steal the show.
Be careful with food because they will steal it. I was convinced people bought food to just have it stolen from the monkeys. They will get incredibly close and there are hundreds of them throughout the caves. They are cute, but they are feisty.
Now there are also several other temples, caves and hiking trails around Batu Caves. I also made a stop at Ramayana Cave, which is closest to the train station. A large blue Hindu God and golden horse greet you as you enter. It does cost 5 Ringgit ($1.20 +/-) to enter but I promise, it’s worth that buck twenty.
Neon LED strip lights light the floor as you enter. You realize this is no ordinary cave. Those neon lights are strung throughout the cave. It immediately reminded me of an elaborate Christmas lights display. The cave tells the story of Rama, the Seventh Avatar of Vishnu, although it was some what difficult to follow. For me, I enjoyed the large statues and all of the lights. It was a good way to spend 20-30 minutes.
If you’d like to learn more about Batu Caves, click here.
And be sure to watch my trip to the caves in my vlog below.