One of the most unusual tourist sites in Kuala Lumpur are the Batu Caves just 15km North of the city. They are 400 million years old and served early settlers as shelter and guano farming later. But what makes them a top tourist attraction is the temple hidden inside! It’s one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and an impressive sight to see!
When the temple was established more than 100 years ago, it was an arduous trip to the caves and to the entrance 100 meters up the mountain! These days, you can take the train to the Batu Caves from KL Sentral Station! You might be greeted by monkeys as you leave the train station. Once you get to the caves, you will receive a more formal welcome by the tallest statue of the Hindu god Murugan – an imposing 43m tall gold figure! You will have to earn the sight of the caves – behind the statue, a long and steep stairway of 272 steps leads up to the entrance and it is a good workout in the hot weather! And the sight of the caves is well worth the effort: The main cave is huge and more than 100m high – it certainly deserves its name Cathedral Cave. There are several hindu shrines in the caves that you can explore on your own. If you wander through, you’ll find an opening to the sky, surrounded by overgrown walls – with sunlight (or rain) streaming in. The photos of the shrines don’t really do the experience justice – climbing up the stairs, entering the huge cave and seeing the shrines is such an unusual religious experience, it makes for a very unique visit and I recommend adding it to your Kuala Lumpur trip!
Travel Tips: I recommend visiting the Batu Caves on a weekday – there were very few people during my visit, which made it more pleasant. For an extraordinary visit (with big crowds), you can go during the annual Thaipusam Festival (based on Tamil calendar, January/February).
Taking the KL Komuter train from KL Sentral Station is fast (26 minutes), cheap ($1 roundtrip) and easy to do, with all signs in English. Trains are clean and run every 15-30 minutes from 7:00h to mid-night. The caves are open to visitors from 7:00 to 20:00h and there is no entrance fee.
Wear comfortable shoes and respectful clothing (no shorts or short skirts), bring some water – it’s a religious site after all, yet the climb is steep and can be tough in hot weather! The caves are much cooler!