Batu Caves is one of the most popular attractions in Malaysia, which is visited annually by 1.5 million people. This is not only the most revered Indian shrine outside of India, but also a real natural miracle. Batu Caves are located 13 km from Kuala Lumpur – the capital of Malaysia. How to get to this attraction, what clothes to choose and what should you pay attention to first of all? The answers are in this article.
Batu Caves were formed naturally and greatly transformed over 400 million years of their existence. Initially, representatives of the Besisi tribe lived in them, and the caves themselves were high cliffs of limestone. Over time, under the influence of water currents and other natural factors, the rocks were washed out and peculiar through holes formed in the mountains.
The forest hid the caves from human eyes until the beginning of the 18th century. At this time, an Indian merchant Tambus Pillai, traveling through Malaysia, came across them, and it was he who became the founder of the temple dedicated to the god Murugan. The American naturalist Gornedey, who described them in one of his works in 1878, made the Batu caves truly famous.
After 14 years, a Tamil festival for pilgrims from all over the world began to be held in this place, and in 1920 tourists were given access to the highest cave, adding a long staircase with 272 steps to its entrance. Like millions of years ago, today Batu is also subject to the influence of nature, which is why some caves become unsafe and closed to the public. If you want to see Malaysia as it was before our era, be sure to visit this unusual attraction.
Interesting fact! The caves owe their name to the river of the same name flowing in the neighborhood.
Batu Caves occupy an area of over 2.5 km2 on the map of Kuala Lumpur. This is a complex of thirty hills of various sizes with deep internal formations, at the entrance to which you are met by a golden 43-meter statue of Murugan. In the highest mountain of Batu (over 100 meters) is the most visited temple cave in Malaysia and the whole world, where not only curious tourists from distant countries come every day, but also faithful pilgrims.
Important! Entrance to the Batu Temple Cave (Kuala Lumpur) is allowed only in appropriate clothing – covering the shoulders and legs above the knee.
The next in size, but at the same time the longest (2 km), is the Dark Cave, located at an altitude of 204 steps. She fully lives up to her name, as the sun’s rays never penetrate through her strong walls. An excursion to the Batu Dark Cave is sometimes interrupted by bats or awkward tourists who do not see one of the many bizarre columns and partitions behind the light of a flashlight. But don’t worry – all travelers who want to walk along the dark corridors are given helmets without fail, so you can not only see unusual dungeons with magical stalactites, but also remember them.
The last large cave and Batu temple is the cave of the protagonist of the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. A detailed biography of Rama is written on its walls with a description of his exploits and principles of life, and statues of different sizes are installed on special stands with beautiful lighting.
If the caves described above were mainly a creation of nature, then Vallurval Cottam is a kind of art gallery with real works of art. Here are several statues of Hindu gods, the walls are decorated with frescoes and covered with quotes from the collection of aphorisms “Tirukkurala” – one of the main books for the inhabitants of Malaysia.
In general, to visit the four open caves of Batu, you need about 4-5 hours without a road. You can only enter the Temple for free, a ticket to Dark costs 35 ringgit per person (25 ringgit for a child), ten and five ringgit, respectively, to the Gallery and the cave of Rama. Hours of the complex: from 8 am to 8 pm.
How to get to the caves
The attraction is located within the capital of Malaysia, so to get here from other cities, you need to do at least one change. Directly from Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves can be reached by:
- KTM electric train. The most convenient and cheapest way. Departure point is the central transport hub of Kuala Lumpur, KL Sentral Station. You can buy a ticket only at the box office, saying that you are driving to Batu Caves station. Price – 2 ringgit.
- Bus Kuala Lumpur-Batu Caves. He leaves the Puduraya Bus Terminal every half hour from 7:30 to 18:30 and travels to the final 45 minutes.
- Taxi. The fare from the center on the meter is 15 ringgit. It is better to arrange a trip back with the driver in advance, since in Batu itself taxi prices are two to three times higher.
If getting to the Caves on your own is not so difficult, then there may be problems with the road back. First, stock up on coins, as machines at the station where you can buy tickets do not accept bills or cards. Secondly, you will need a lot of patience to wait for a huge queue of tourists who can not figure out such a complex mechanism and get a badge. Thirdly, we advise you to get to Kuala Lumpur by taxi or go to the next station and there you can safely take a bus or train.
Pay attention! Malaysia is a Muslim country, so here, even in public transport, certain rules apply. For example, most Kuala Lumpur subways and trains have a pink wagon designed exclusively for Muslim women. Also in transport it is forbidden to smoke, eat, drink, carry pets and even cuddle. Violators will be fined in large quantities.
Read Before You Go
- Visit Batu Complex early in the morning, immediately after opening. After 12, it is very hot and a lot of people, and the smells of garbage and “clean” pilgrims spread as fast as possible.
- Be sure to walk around the temples located at the foot of the hills – there often walk Indians in beautiful national costumes and conduct unusual rites.
- Hide food bags. The monkeys don’t care what time you had breakfast – “the tourist tastes better.”
- Do not chase a trip to the caves if you have already been to similar places in Georgia, Thailand or Vietnam. The caves of Malaysia look about the same, albeit larger in size.
- If you came to Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur in January, it is better to refrain from a trip to the caves. It was at this time that the Taipusam festival was held, leaving behind huge piles of garbage.
- To withstand such a journey, choose open shoes that sit firmly on their feet. Choose clothes according to the weather, but do not forget that when the street is + 30 ° C, the caves are much colder.
- Take water and food with you. There are no shops nearby, and the few cafes located in the immediate areas of Kuala Lumpur are not clean and have a varied menu.
- Do not put on your favorite or expensive things for a walk around the complex – the caves are damp and dripping from the ceiling.
Batu Caves (Malaysia) is a truly unusual sight revealing the secrets of nature, and a unique chance to see the unspoiled nature and beauty of Kuala Lumpur. Have a nice trip!
To better understand the atmosphere of the caves and evaluate their size, watch the video – dynamic, high-quality and informative.