After a great few days in Melaka I headed back to Kuala Lumpur and anxiously awaited my trip to the Batu Caves in Gombak Selangor. I’d long wanted to see the Caves for myself.
The first thing that strikes you when you arrive at the Batu Caves is the enormous statue of Lord Murugan the world’s third largest Hindu statue and perhaps the most recognisable feature of the Caves. Built in 2006, the statue seems to stand guard over the Batu Caves, whilst also providing a welcoming atmosphere. The statue is the third largest Hindu statue in the world and it really is impressive in real life.
For me though the most amazing thing about seeing the Caves for yourself is the juxtaposition of the natural limestone hill which takes its name from the Sungai Batu river that passes behind, and the impressive human made places of worship.
The largest Hindu statue in Malaysia greets you at the Batu Caves
272 steps not for the faint of heart
Recently painted, the 272 steps that lead you to the Batu Cave system, appear as an explosion of colour against the natural limestone hill. Malaysia is hot so climbing the steps is no mean feet but there are plenty of places to stop on your way up. Along the way you’re greeted by lots of cheeky monkeys. Make sure you hide any food, your water bottle and most importantly your sunglasses. I did see a number of tourists taunting the monkeys so it’s no surprise that they can be aggressive with people. I must confess that the monkeys were my favourite thing there.
To enter the Batu Caves you’ll need to wear long sleeves and trousers and make sure your skirt is down to your knees. You can rent a shawl if you arrive unprepared (or underdressed). There’s also lots of little shops where you can pick up an inexpensive Pasmina or two while you’re there. Hey you can never have too many right?
My journey to the Batu Caves was a few days prior to Thaipusam, the yearly Hindu celebration held on the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar. The area was buzzing with the preparations for the celebrations and I could only imagine how wonderful it would be to visit during this time.