I was doing research on what to explore in Kuala Lumpur when I stumbled upon some information about a sacred place in Selangor called Batu Caves, which is 13km north of Kuala Lumpur, As I browsed through the pages, I learned that Batu Caves has three caves, which have temples and galleries: the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave. Since I wanted to check on unique and culture-rich places in Kuala Lumpur, apart from shopping malls, historic landmarks, and modern infrastructures, I put Batu Caves in my itinerary.
I visited Batu Caves on the first day of my solo traveling challenge in Malaysia. I was (seriously) alone in my sojourn. In preparation, I had a good breakfast; I brought a small bag with my money, map, passport, water and baby wipes; and I loaded lots of courage and extra precautions as I embarked on the challenge.
Believe it or not, I just paid RM1.00 going to Batu Caves. I rode the Komuter Train, which is found in KL Sentral Station. On the side, based on what I read, you can also reach Batu Caves via bus11/11d from Bangkok Bank Terminus (Near Puduraya Terminus) or bus U6 from Titiwangsa.
I rode the Komuter Train in KL Sentral Station. As early as 9:00 (early na yan kasi super pagoda tragedy on the other day of my arrival), I was already in Bukit Bintang Train Station. As soon I reached KL Sentral, I bought the fabulously RM1.00 ticket to Batu Caves. Here’s interesting, Batu Caves is at the last station of the Komuter Train route so you won’t miss it; once the train stops at Batu Caves, that’s it.
At KL Sentral, I waited for the train in Platform 3. Don’t be afraid that you might miss the train. Clear signage will guide you through. Soon, I got in the train.
|Inside the Komuter Train|
|The Komuter Train|
|Batu Caves Stesen (Station)|
Based on what I read, historically, Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.
A big Hindu deity welcomed me at Batu Caves. It’s green in colour. And not far from it, I saw a temple. Actually before you walk around, you can already see the arch of Batu Caves, which pathway is connected to the train station. It’s adorned with intricate wall carvings.
As I walked more, I saw shops, which sell souvenirs and garlands. There’s also a henna art tent. And oh, some birds were caged in a big dome covered with a net.
When I reached the temple, I was wowed with the line-up of cement carvings – in full colour and in plain stones. As I looked at the Hill, my eyes were also delighted with colourful shrines with even robust statues of Hindu Gods and goddesses. And finally, I saw the statue of Murugan, which stands at 42.7 m (140ft) high and dubbed as the world’s tallest statue of Murugan. According to wikipedia, the statue costs approximately 24 million rupees, and is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighbouring Thailand. Since I was alone, I asked an Indian to have my picture taken. Kapalan ng mukha para may picture!
Apart from enjoying lots of photos of the statue of Murugan, I also loved seeing lots of pigeons. Feeling ko tuloy ay parang Italy lang or Paris ang peg. Meanwhile, the number of monkeys was not outnumbered at Batu Caves. Ang daming unggoy. Feeling ko tuloy, ibinalik ako sa Brunei!
Beside the statue, there’s the bonggang bonggang stairs. Honestly, when I saw the stairs, I got shocked and doubted if I can really climb it. Fortunately, upon seeing energetic and satisfied visitors coming up and down the stairs, I took the challenge. I eventually became confident dahil hindi ako hiningal sa pagakayat. Indeed, exercising everyday helped me a lot to accomplish the 272- step cave!
As I climbed, in full action monkeys kept me distracted. More than enjoying to watch those monkeys, I felt afraid as they might jump on me. Plus, I heard that some monkeys grab your stuff. With this, I walked fast and hoped to complete the steps.
Surprisingly when I reached the top, I was surprised that it isn’t all. There’s another stairs going up, which goes to the main temple, which is already inside the cave. But what’s lovely, my eyes were delighted with the cave’s amazing and natural beauty. The stone formations, the statues, and the sunlight peeping through the caves’ hole piqued my interest on exploring Batu caves.
Meanwhile, in Batu Caves, there were some shops that sell souvenirs to tourists. Most of the items are key chains, ref magnets, table statues, and wall decors of Lord Murugan’s replica.
I was sweaty when I reached the top but I ignored it. There’s just so much to see in Batu Caves. See below images for your enjoyment.
I eventually went down the cave and opted to have my lunch in the Vegetarian Restaurant. But prior to eating, I came across the Cave Villa. Without hesitation, I paid RM15 and got in. Inside the Cave Villa, I saw lots (super dami!) of Traditional Hindu drawings and various types of reptiles.
|A dark cave which I didn't explore.|
|On my way down the cave|
|Photo op with Reptiles|
|Cave of Reptiles|
Soon I left Batu Caves. I rode the Komuter Train. Yes, I paid RM1.00! Amazing!
UP NEXT: HOP ON HOP OFF BUS: A TRAVELER’S BESTFRIEND IN KL!