One of the places I want to visit is Malaysia. Besides its gorgeous natural sight-seeing, its 130 million year old rain forests, tea plantations, beaches, islands, hill stations, biodiversity, culture and scores of other attractions, one of the places I yearn to visit there are the Batu caves Malaysia. Family members have visited and gushed over this. One reason is we worship Murugan, the son of Shiva. Murugan is known by different names (Subramanya, Karthikeya, Saravana) and is also referred to as the “Tamil God” There are lots of interesting stories associated with this deity. I’ll tell you some of them in a different post!.
As a rule, I love visiting temples for their architecture and the deep sense of peace and have visited several in South India. I am lucky my son also shares my passion for temples and in fact, he turned out to be a bigger fan, displaying his interest by sketching the deities, the temples, and learning the legend behind the temple. As part of my prayer every morning, I recite the 108 names of Lord Murugan and so, the Batu caves hold special interest for me.
The Batu Caves Malaysia
The Batu Caves Malaysia are limestone hills with a series of caves and cave temples in the Gombak District, about eight miles north of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The name is derived from the Sungai Batu or Batu River flowing past the hill. In Tamil, the Batu Caves are called “பத்து மலை” – Paththu = ten and Malai = hills. These limestone hills are over 400 million years old.
Here is the entrance to the Batu Caves Malaysia
Outside India, this cave temple is among the most popular Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Murugan. A Hindu festival called “Thaipusam” is celebrated with pomp here.
In 1890, an Indian trader, Pillai, inspired by the “Vel” or spear shaped entrance of the main cave promoted the Batu Caves as a place of worship and built a temple to Lord Murugan here.
The wooden steps leading up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and were later replaced with 272 concrete steps. In January 2006, a 140 foot statue of Lord Murugan was unveiled and is said to be the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world and is a major Malaysia tourism attraction.
Almost 100m high above the ground, the Batu Cave temple complex has three main caves and some smaller ones. The biggest cave in the Batu Caves is the Temple or Cathedral Cave which has several Hindu shrines.
There are two more cave temples at the base of the hill along with an art gallery cave and museum cave with Hindu statues and paintings. There is also a Ramayana Cave depicting the story of Rama with a 50-foot Hanuman statue en route.
Pillai also built the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in KL.
The Malaysia Map is an interesting one. Take a look:
I just remembered an amusing memory – one of the companies I worked with a couple of decades ago had announced an incentive for the top sales people – a trip to Kuala Lumpur and we were all so kicked about it. We had even started exploring Kuala Lumpur hotels. And well, me being me, I had mentally started packing! Regrettably, there were changes at the management level and the company went on a cost-cutting drive – thereby cancelling the trip and compensating with a local trip. Sigh.
Still, nothing to stop me from exploring Malaysia. Here’s a fun Infographic that leads you to 41 bucket-list worthy destinations:
Unseen Malaysia | 41 Bucket-list-worthy Destinations. View the interactive version here.
I am so glad Unknown Mami hosts this lovely meme where we get to see the world sitting right at home! Let’s head over to her place now and see what the others are up to!
Question for you!
What place do you have on your wish list?
What is the one place you yearn to see?