- Place or Religious Monument
I didn't particularly want to visit the Batu Caves and hadn't planned on doing it. After several months in Asia I had seen lots of temples and caves... But I pushed myself into it and I don't regret it! Visiting the cave, despite having to climb up 272 steps in a humid and suffocating heat, was very calming.
The Batu Cave's immense statues, at the beginning of the staircase are impressive! When I arrived at the top I was lucky enough to see a Hindu ceremony with all its incense, music, prayers and brightly coloured clothes.
The advantage is that it's easy to get to and close to Kuala Lumpur. It's the biggest Hindu temple in the world outside India.
Its disadvantage is the number of tourists.
Whilst on a trip to Malaysia , I stopped in Kuala Lumpur for several days, which gave me a chance to go and see the Batu Caves. It takes about 30 minutes to get there when taking the KTM Komuter train from Kuala Lumpur's town centre. Entry to all of the Batu Caves is not free as some of them offer activities. I visited the main cave, the one guarded by a huge golden statue, Muragan, the god of war.
After having climbed 272 steps, you reach a huge, half-open cave with a temple at the far end. The atmosphere here is quite mystical and very contemplative. It is also possible to follow a Hindu ceremony. You need to be careful not to bring out any food as there are lots of monkeys! Next to the caves on the right, is a small Indian quarter with some good enough restaurants serving copious meals.
I visited the Batu Caves on the third day of Thaipusam which is held every year at the end of January. I did not attend the huge procession that takes place on the first day, but I was able to enjoy the incredible fervour of this festival that marks the end of one month of fasting and prayer. I was struck by the crowd present at the place, there were traffic jams for miles around the site.
I climbed up the 272 steps that lead to Dark Cave, to the sound of Hindu music. Once in the temple, I witnessed the interminable prayers of the pilgrims who come by the million for the occasion. Even if Thaipusam more and more resembles a fair, it remains a unique moment and a very happy memory of my trip to Malaysia . I relate this experience to you in my notebook devoted to Malaysia . Outside of this festive moment, the site has become a real tourist attraction and the caves can be visited with a guide, but are not of any real interest.