Saturday, November 02, 2013

Best side trip from Kuala Lumpur: Statue of Lord Murungan and the Batu Caves

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia we will be driving to the northern province of Pahang, to the Cameron Highlands, but before leaving civilisation, we are dropping by at the Batu Caves which is outside of the city already but is just 23 minutes drive from KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). That near.

Batu Caves, the best and easy side trip from KL!

My mom was not keen in going up so she opted to stay in the car whilst my dad was having a little bit of adventurous adrenalin streak so he accompanied me to the gate, only to be dissuaded after seeing the long climb—272 steps to be precise to reach the caves. He is 70 years old and doesn’t have the stamina to clamber up the stairway so he decided to stay down but will get my mom and bring her to the square to enjoy the birds, admire the golden statue of Murungan and have a looksee at the caves and the mischievous monkeys from the entrance.

Here is a safety reminder about the monkeys: Be Cautious of the Monkeys at Batu Caves

During this Malaysia trip I have encountered so many Arabic tourists from the Gulf countries. The Muslim women from the Gulf countries tend to wear all-black attires and are covered from head to foot and only allowing the eyes to be exposed, whilst the Muslim women in Malaysia (which in similarity to Indonesia and Singapore) wear brightly coloured outfits, they expose their face and only cover their head with usually matching colourful hijab (shawl).

Lots of doves at the entrance.

So the 400-million years old Batu Caves became a solo journey for me. I don’t mind really, I see climbing the steps as part curiosity of the Hindu culture and religion and as part exercise as well. Indian minority in Southeast Asia is quite apparent from the many Hindu temples you see around the region. The Batu Caves are one of the most popular Hindu shrine in the country because it is situated inside a large ancient limestone cave being occupied by Macaque monkeys, and outside at the entrance on the square is the largest statue in the world, the Hindu deity ‘Lord Murungan’.

You’ll notice that the Hindu Indians take off their shoes when they go up the cave. The Batu Caves are a religious site, however, as an outsider, visitor and foreigner, we do not have to walk barefooted. Luckily.

Lord Murungan steel statue in gold paint and standing 42.7 metres (140 feet).

This is what you see, the entrance to the cave when you reach the top base of the steps. You will have to further go inside. 

This is the Lord Murungan Temple inside the cave (innermost temple).

Chickens, roosters also live inside Batu Caves.

This is the temple in the Cathedral cave (main cave upon entering).

Read about the resident monkeys here: Be cautious of the monkeys at Batu Caves

Travel Period: August 2013
Destination: Batu Caves (Selangor), Malaysia

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