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Batu Caves Malaysia

by Vidya Sury April 7, 2013 19 comments
Batu Caves malaysia

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.

Batu Caves Malaysia

Wikipedia Image

Here is the entrance to the Batu Caves Malaysia

Batu Caves malaysia entrance

Entrance to Batu Caves Malaysia Wikipedia image

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.

batu caves malaysia

Procession of Murugan idols during a Thaipusam festival celebration at Batu Caves in Malaysia. from Wikipedia

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.

Batu Caves Malaysia

Wikipedia image

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.

Batu Caves Malaysia

Inside the caves Wikipedia image

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.

Batu Caves Malaysia

Inside the caves From Globeimages.net

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.

Batu Caves Malaysia Hanuman

From malaysianphotos.com

Pillai also built the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in KL.

mahamariamman temple


The Malaysia Map is an interesting one. Take a look:

Malaysia Tourism

From Tourism.gov.my

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?

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Tharmini April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hi Vidhya! I recently subscribed to your blogs. I try my best to read your blogs regularly and i love how you make daily life to be more meaningful. Your blogs makes me want to see my ordinary tasks in a different way.Thank you for sharing your light!

I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and usually, my family and i walk with the Thaipusam procession during the eve of Thaipusam. I would say that Lord Muruga looks better straight up and i hope you get the opportunity to see him soon. He looks simply magnificent.

Vidya Sury April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Welcome, Tharmini! I am so touched by your lovely comment! I hope to make a trip next year to visit the Batu Caves and until then, I will just listen to the “kanda shashti kavacham” The photos look truly breathtaking – I can only imagine what Murugan will look like in person!

I am thrilled you visited today! Hugs!

Tara R. April 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I find caves fascinating. The Batu Caves are so beautiful. I can see why they would be transformed into temples of worship, and why you would want to visit there.
Tara R. recently posted…Juniper Lake

Charity April 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Beautiful! I have a sister there now, working as a scuba diving instructor…I must share this with her and ask if she’s been there yet!
Charity recently posted…Planting the First Container Garden Seeds (Post 2)

Kaarina Dillabough April 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Amazing. Cheers! Kaarina
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Dorothy April 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Beautiful! I’ve been to temples in Thailand and Cambodia and find them fascinating. I have a little trouble with caves (claustrophobic) but these look big enough that I think I’d be okay. Add another place to my travel wish list!! There are some fjords in New Zealand that I want to kayak that are near the top of my wish list. Maybe next year *fingers crossed*!!

P.S. – Every time I have to check the “Did you smile today?” box to comment here it truly makes me smile!
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Judy April 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

You have given me a desire to visit as well. Maybe someday.

Glynis Jolly April 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm

How beautiful! I wish I had the funds to visit there too.

Laurie April 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

We have nearly identical limestone cliffs in this part of Honduras. However, of course, we do not have intricate gods on display. Beautiful photography, Vidya.
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Betsy/Zen Mama April 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I”ll add this to my Travel To Do List!! Gorgeous!!
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Terri Sonoda April 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi Vidya! I would so love to visit this place! The pictures are amazing. The colors are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us! You provide such fuel for my daydreams! Huggsssss.
Terri Sonoda recently posted…Why fiction?

Star Traci April 8, 2013 at 6:43 am

How beautiful! Thank you for showing me a glimpse at this side of the world.

Star Traci recently posted…Sundays in My City #56 — Hippity-Hop

Vishnu April 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

Vidya – thanks for sharing this post about Batu Caves. I know a lot about this place having climbed it up and down what seemed like a hundred times:) Growing up in Malaysia partially and having lived in Kuala Lumpur, this was the go to destination for all guests who visited. One thing I remember, not sure if the critters are still around, would be monkeys on the steps trying to harass temple-goers and getting their coconuts, bananas. haha I haven’t been in awhile but have fond memories of having visited. Thanks for sharing.

Lance McDonald April 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

Wow what a site to see. I’ve always wanted visit Malaysia.
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Rhonda @Laugh Quotes April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Were were in Batu Caves just about a year ago (March 2012). I loved the added history I found here, plus the memories. I linked my name to one of my posts about Batu Caves.

Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com
Visiting from AtoZ #41
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ria cabral April 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

New and linking up with sundays in my city. Ria

I find caves fascinating and this is a place I want to visit also. besides I have a friend here I could visit her at the same time, making it an even more special vacation!

Nita April 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm

My son visited the Batu Caves a few years ago in addition to telling me how absolutely breathtaking and amazing the architecture was, he had one warning for anyone visiting. Watch out for the little monkeys. LOL, I guess they are a bit feisty. I think he got a few photos of the monkeys, I will have to see if I can post one or two. Have a great week and I hope you get to visit the Batu Caves soon.
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Cathy Taughinbaugh April 9, 2013 at 4:00 am

Never been, but it looks beautiful Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. Always great to visit new places! Take care.

Unknown Mami April 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

Amazing. I want to see they pyramids in Mexico. I will see them.
Unknown Mami recently posted…San Francisco International Film Festival


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