The Majestic Batu Caves [BIMT9]

May 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Our next stop was the Batu Caves, a series of tunnels and chambers set into limestone cliffs just outside of Kuala Lumpur. The caves are one of Malaysia’s most famous attractions, and are a holy site for the country’s Hindu population. Read more about the caves and see more of our trip through them here. We’d seen plenty of photos of the statue of the god Murugan while preparing for our trip, but neither of us were prepared for just how massive it was in real life. Reading about a 42 meter high gold statue is significantly different from standing in front of a 42 freakin’ meter high gold statue. We were in awe.

Lord Muragan

Lord Muragan

The long climb begins...

The long climb begins...

We started the climb up the 272 steps to the entrance of the caves themselves, passing reliefs of scenes from Hindu mythology. I don’t think I’m bragging when I say that I managed the climb better than Ian, who was out of breath and more than slightly sweaty by the end. Halfway up, the stairs became populated with dozens of the cynomolgus monkeys which have made their homes in the trees growing on the cliff faces. They’re well accustomed to the hordes of tourists who visit the caves, and have no interest in posing for the camera if you’re not offering them a snack of some sort.

Cold dissed by a monkey.

Cold dissed by a monkey.

Ian needs a minute.

Ian needs a minute.

Once at the top of the stairs, we entered the massive and majestic Temple Cave, the natural walls of which stretch up over 100 meters. Intricate shrines to and statues of Murugan and other Hindu gods were nestled along the walls amongst stalactites (or are stalagmites the ones which grow up from the ground?). The air was still and calm, and the occasional waft of incense which crossed our noses added to the tranquil and reverential atmosphere. At the back of the Temple Cave, the roof opens out to the sky, casting sunlight down on the cave’s visitors, and allowing trees to grow along the cave’s inner walls!

See our trek up the stairs and read more about the caves here!

Getting to the caves took some sweat and effort, but the payoff of seeing such gorgeous scenery and cultural icons was well worth it. Luckily for Ian, climbing down was easier than climbing up.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

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One Response

  1. [...] vendors from years past and stopped for a minute to chat. Ian, who was getting flashbacks to the ascent up to the Batu Caves from all of the stair climbing, was all too happy to catch a [...]

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