When was the last time you were in the Batu Caves? If it’s been a while, why not venture to the famous rainbow steps for a change? Whether you are looking for creative ways to explore Malaysia or need suggestions to recommend to your visiting friends, we can assure you that visiting Batu Caves will be a time to remember. Without further ado, here is a detailed guide to Batu Caves, Malaysia.
Tourists may know our famous skyscraper, the Petronas Twin Towers, but have you been to the Batu Caves? One of the biggest attractions in Malaysia, the Batu Caves is a limestone hilltop made up of beautiful caves, temples and Hindu shrines. Aside from the stunning caves, the main attraction is the colossal gold-painted statue of Murugan (Hindu god of war), which took three years to build. According to Discover Walks, it is the third tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. The tallest are the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Indonesia and the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.
Famous for its iconic 272 steps, the journey leads to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple and offers breathtaking views of the statue and the city. If it’s not your first time, we’re sure you’ve seen the stunning makeover this staircase received in 2018. Although it has always been a popular tourist destination, the steps have recently been transformed into an Instagram-worthy spot. thanks to the kaleidoscopic staircase. In fact, local artist Yuna shot her music video for her single Forever on the iconic steps, and we think it’s absolutely stunning. The stages have also been known to have monkeys loitering around, so be careful not to interact with them as they can be quite aggressive.
Read on for our tips for exploring the Batu Caves, and in the meantime don’t miss our guide to discovering Malaysia.
The Ultimate Guide to Batu Caves:
How do I get to the Batu Caves?
By KTM train to Batu Caves
Depending on where you are coming from, take the LRT to KL Sentral and transfer to a KTM train for direct access to Batu Caves. It takes about 40 minutes to drive from KL Sentral to your final destination.
Check out the schedule here.
The price may be expensive, but it will be faster and more convenient. You can order a grab to the destination or drive there. If you don’t own a car, visit these websites to rent a car.
Is there an entrance fee to enter Batu Caves?
There is no entrance fee to visit the main temple complex. However, if you plan to explore other caves like Ramayana Cave and Dark Cave, the ticket fee is RM5 and RM35 respectively.
A guide to the main attractions of the Batu Caves
There are three caves to explore: Temple Cave, Dark Cave and Ramayana Cave.
Temple Cave, also known as Cathedral Cave, is dedicated to Lord Murugan. You have to conquer and master 272 steps to reach the temple. Not only are you greeted with a breathtaking view of the limestone cavern, but you can also admire the daytime sunlight streaming through the high ceiling openings.
According to Lonely Planet, in the first cave, tourists can admire the six dwellings of Murugan carved into the walls, while the second cave houses the temple of Sri Valli Deivanai, Murugan’s wife.
Inquisitive explorers and scientists have ventured into these caves since the 1880s. The caves are considered to be the longest cave system in the Batu Caves and lives up to its name as there are no lights installed for visitors to explore these caves. Before the pandemic, visitors were allowed to purchase the adventure tour, which allowed them to learn about cave formations, wildlife, and crawlies. Unfortunately, the adventure tour is currently closed until further notice.
The Ramayana Cave is a tourist favorite and features the most beautifully decorated caves in the Batu Caves depicting the mythology of Ramayana – a love story of one of the most important Hindu scriptures. If you are not familiar with the story, The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit in which Prince Rama goes on a quest to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys.
To get there, all you have to do is walk past the Hanuman statue and cross the bridge to enter. On your way, it’s hard to miss the sleeping form of Kumbhkaran and a deep sleeper. It’s also a great way to soak up the history beautifully carved into the stones – definitely worth paying RM5 to visit.
Is there a dress code?
As a place of worship, it is advisable to dress appropriately when you are there. For ladies, we recommend wearing long dresses or pants and making sure your shoulders are covered. For men, it’s best to keep things simple with a t-shirt and shorts (below the knee) or a pants combo. The appropriate footwear is of course a pair of sneakers or your ideal comfortable shoes. You need it to climb 272 steps.
When is the best time to visit Batu Caves?
The Batu Caves are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The best time to go is in the morning before 9:00 am if you want to get a good photo opportunity on the steps of the Batu Caves. Depending on the destination of your visit, note that the Thaipusam celebrations (a festival celebrated by the Hindu Tamil community) take place between late January and the first week of February each year, while the Deepavali celebrations begin in October or November. Due to their natural beauty and temples, the Batu Caves have become a popular destination for those wishing to pay their respects to Lord Murugan.
If you want to join in the celebrations, do so. However, if you want to explore the caves and admire the temples, it is best to avoid the area during the Christmas season.
Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor
operating hours: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m
(Main image: Unsplash/Mei Mei Ismail; featured image: Taylor Simpson)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur