Batu Caves, Malaysia
Ranked #7 in Malaysia tourism. Batu Caves, located 13 kilometers of the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is one of the most popular destinations both to the locals of Malaysia and its visitors as well. Three largest and several smaller caves are situated in the limestone cliff and once the site was discovered by the local British colonialists in 1878, it soon became a sacred site of the Hindus.
Batu Caves Temple
At the entrance of the caves, a 42 meters high statue of Lord Murugan, a Hindu diety. It was constructed in 2006 and is the world’s tallest statue of this Hindu deity. Behind the statue, a staircase of 272 steps takes the visitors of the site to the caves where other statues and temples are situated. The most famous is the Temple Cave, also referred as the Cathedral Cave– a 100 meters high cave with amazing Hindu shrines decorating it. A superb Hindu artwork can also be found in other two largest caves –Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave. Western tourists are often surprised by the monkeys that have in a way invaded the site. The monkeys are so used to the visitors of Batu Caves that begging the food to tourists have become their habit. Treats for the monkeys can be purchased at the entrance.
Thaipusam Festival at Batu Caves
The most significant event in Batu Caves is the Thaipusam festival that takes place in Hindu calendar’s tenth month on annual basis. During this celebration of Subramaniam, the son of Shiva, a great numbers of worshipers flock the site, reaching somewhat 800 000 attendees. During the festival, several rituals are carried out, the most extravagant of which is carrying kavadis – a large frameworks, pierced to the skin of the devotee.
Besides the great cultural experience you will gain when visiting the Batu Caves, you can also do some rock-climbing there, since somewhat 150 climbing routes have been developed by now and is another great way of exploring this amazing site that has to be visited by anyone that travels to Malaysia.