Batu Caves is a majestic tourism icon of Malaysia carved out from limestone hills. Featuring the largest Lord Murugan statue, Batu Caves is one of the most popular Indian shrine located outside India. If you are still feeling hung over from your Deepavali midweek holiday, then take a drive out to Gombak for a rich cultural experience.
By Nurul Rustam
Batu Caves has always been the to-go-to place among the Indian community especially during Deepavali. Home to the Temple Cave that is only reachable via a 272 flight of concrete stairs, Batu Caves is believed to be around 400-million-years-old which explains its jaw-dropping scenery. From shops selling flower garlands to monkeys roaming around the Monkey God statue, Batu Caves is a welcome respite from the hectic KL life. Here are five reasons to go there:
#1 The majestic statue of Lord Murugan
This majestic statue is hard to miss when you are driving along the DUKE highway or MRR2, even from afar, outside the caves. Also known as Kartikeya, Skanda, Kumara and Subrahmanya, Lord Murugan is the Hindu god of war. Costing some RM1.56 million to construct, Lord Murugan’s statue is made from 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighbouring country Thailand. A sight to behold!
#2 No monkey business!
We mean it when we say monkey business as they literally walk the ground near the Monkey God statue. Known to be territorial, the monkeys have been documented to terrorise tourists and locals alike. While they are indeed an interesting sight, you do need to be careful by not carrying any food as this will entice them. Also, while they may look cute, it is not a good idea to smile and show your teeth as they may view it as a sign of threat. Our advice is to view them from the nearby temple and keep a safe distance.
#3 Souvenirs for your loved ones
One good thing of being at Batu Caves is the memories you can take home at the few souvenir shops located just outside the site. Although it is wildly popular among tourist, you can still find souvenirs that are sold at a very reasonable price. From key chains to fridge magnets, there are a few options to tell your loved ones while they may not be there, you care enough to share the magical experience with them.
#4 Thirsty? No sweat!
The weather in Malaysia has been scorching lately reaching up to 35 degrees celcius! If you are worried about the heat and then quenching your thirst after a hike up the 272 flight of stairs, no sweat. There are a few make shift stalls selling fresh coconut water to ensure you stay hydrated. Despite its steep price of RM4, you can still see a long snaking queue from wearied tourists and locals alike flocking to it like a moth to flame.
#5 So Instagram worthy!
Make your first time in Batu Caves memorable via your Instagram posts. With the majestic Lord Murugan statue and limestone cliffs as the backdrop, it can be the perfect place to take your #OOTD (outfit of the day) shots. Do bear in mind to keep your dressing modest a to be respectful as Batu Caves is a place of worship. Speaking of which, do note those in shorts and skirts are not allowed to climb up the Temple Cave.