Batu Caves is a must-visit tourist attraction when you are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It can be reached about half an hour’s drive from the city center.
The Batu Caves are located within a high limestone outcropping said to be around 400 million years old. It was used as the shelters by the indigenous Temuan people. The caves were discovered by William T. Hornaday, an American taxidermist.
K. Thamboosamy Pillay, a Tamil Hindu community leader, built the temple within the caves in 1891. He took inspiration from the mouth of the cave that strongly resembled a ‘vel’ – the head of Lord Murugan’s celestial spear.
The wooden steps leading up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. In August 2018, the 272 steps were repainted, with each set of steps painted in a different range of colors.
To reach the temple, you have to climb a precipitous flight of 272 steps. The steps were repainted in August 2018. Each section of the steps was painted with a different color.
There are 272 steps which are a real test for your stamina if you are living a sedentary lifestyle. Take it slowly and you will be rewarded by the spectacular view of the limestone formation and colorful shrines.
The temple is guarded by the elegant and gorgeous statue in Gold of Murugan, a Hindu deity standing in all his glory right in front of the stairs leading to the temple. The statue standing at 140ft high, which is the world tallest statue of Murugan.
The main cave
The staircase of Batu Caves leading to the main temple. You can see there are many tourists even on a normal Sunday. Upon reaching the top, you will be greeted by the humongous limestone cave that rising almost 100m above the ground.
This is also called the Temple Cave (Cathedral cave), where the main temple of Batu Caves is located.
The are many pigeons at Batu Caves. You can feed the pigeon freely. The cliff is about 100 meters high rising nearly vertically.
The entrance of the main temple
Inside the main temple
The place is sacred to Hindu devotees to worship. Inside the main temple, devotees are eating packaged vegetarian food sitting on the floor. Anyone who wants to enter the temple must remove their shoes.
Just want to make it more decreet, I point the camera to the devotees at waist level, and trigger the shutter with an external Bluetooth shutter trigger. I find that this method is perfect to capture candid images like this.
The magnificent interior of the temple
The interior of the temple is surprisingly vibrant, as opposed to many other Tamil temples that I have seen. It brushes off my first impression that it is an old, and poor maintain temple since it has been there for almost 100 years. The steps leading to the temple and the interior of the building were repainted in 2018.
The pillars are painted with bright colorful color, mirroring the color scheme of the steps leading to the cave.
I am using the HDR mode of the camera app to take this colorful image. The details of the interior and exterior (through the gap between the pillars) are captured perfectly.
Magnificant carvings in the temple.
Batu Caves- Useful Information
Address: Batu Caves, Sri Subramaniam Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact number : +603 2287 9422
Geographic coordinates: 3°14′14.64″N 101°41′2.06″E
Opening hours: Daily, 7 am to 8 pm
Go by bus: Take Intrakota bus No 11D from the Central Market or the Cityliner bus No 69 at Jalan Pudu to get to Batu Caves.
Go by MRT: KC05 is the Batu Caves Komuter station, costing RM 2.6 for a one-way journey from KA01 KS01 KJ15 MR1 KE1 KT1 SBK15 KL Sentral.
Distance from city center: 13km north of Kuala Lumpur city.
Best time to visit: Arrive before 10 AM to avoid crowds.
Dress code: No short skirts or short shorts (hot pants).
Entrance fee: The main temple complex is free. The Dark Cave costs RM35 (US$7.80) for an adult and RM25 (US$5.60) for a child.