The Batu Caves serve not only as a tourist attraction but is considered a Hindu shrines as well. It is a pilgrimage site visited by hundreds of Hindus worldwide especially during their annual Thaipusam festival. The other famous attraction at Batu Caves is the 42.7 meters high giant golden statue of Murugan and there is definitely no way of missing it!
But before you visit the Batu Caves, there are five important things we would like you to consider and include in your plans. So take a peek on the following important notes below. We believe this would help you be more prepared and make your visit more memorable.
1. Get ready to climb the 272 steps to Temple Cave.
The numbers may look exhausting to climb but it is all worth it! Just continuously think of this: “It will benefit my health. It will benefit my health!” But kidding aside, it is not that strenuous. Anyone with good health condition can reach the top without difficulty. Plus, the steps are numbered so you will feel motivated each time you step forward! Therefore, remember to wear comfortable shoes, which make a pair of rubber shoes an excellent choice. And once you reach the top, all your hard work will pay off. The Temple Cave is one of a kind. We will tell you more about it in the latter part of this article.
2. Beware of the mischievous monkeys!
That is right! Make sure to add extra care on your belongings especially if you have a food on your hand. These macaque monkeys have the tendency to freak out the visitors of Batu Cave. They move so quickly that you will never know what they are up to next. A local advised us to just avoid having too much eye contact with them. It makes them wilder. Some even said that besides from stealing, they also bite! So the best you can do is attempt to ignore their behavior, if not their presence. Just continue walking the steps and try not to be so close to them. If you want to take pictures of these macaque monkeys, be careful and avoid irritating them.
3. Pay respect for it is a religious site.
Presently, it is still a religious site. If you are lucky enough, you can witness a few Hindus worshiping. So it is wiser to take note of this. Keeping your voices low and helping the caves clean are helpful. And of course, avoid vandalism for it will destroy the caves itself. If you want to learn more about Batu Caves, it is also nice to experience the Thaipusam festival. It is an event wherein devotees carry milk as an offering and bring it on top climbing the 272 steps. It is said to be one of the biggest gatherings in Malaysia. So attending the Thaipusam festival is a fantastic way to experience a Malaysian culture.
4. Try the existing rock climbing routes.
This is of course for the mountain/rock wall climber enthusiasts. Or if you are a sporty/adventurous type of person, you are in, too! There is said to be a total of 170 rock climbing routes. If you would like to know more about the routes, you can go directly at this site. It enumerates the different routes and even provides directions if you are planning to ride a public bus.
5. Explore the other caves as well!
Lastly, in order for you to complete your Batu Caves visit, it would be great to explore the other caves too. The Batu Caves consists of three main caves which are the Temple Cave, Dark Cave, and the Art Gallery Cave. The biggest one which has 100-meter high ceiling is the Temple Cave. This is the one which you need to go up and climb the 272 steps. It is just amazing how high the ceiling of the cave is. You will even find a large opening as you walk farther back. As for the Dark Cave, rock formations are the main stars. You can find amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations here. And if you wish to see a lake and ponds inside a cave, just go ahead to the Art Gallery Cave. It is an enchanting place to be at. Plus, you will learn more as statues and paintings about Hinduism are displayed in this cave. There are also a few smaller caves around the area if you still wish to explore more.
There you go. These are the important things you should know before heading out to Batu Caves. Remember to bring extra water if you wish to explore all the caves, for it can be really exhausting. Most especially if you are trying to avoid the monkeys! Though on a lighter note, there is an extra bonus. You can buy fresh coconut juice as a treat! Plus, there are hundreds of pigeons on the grounds of the Batu Caves which bring additional delight to the visitors as well. If you wish to view some photos, you may visit my slideshow “Travel Log: Batu Caves, Malaysia”.
Address: Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam Temple Kuala Lumpur 68100 Malaysia
Contact Number: 60-3-2287-9422
Admission Fee: Free
Wikipedia, Batu Caves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batu_Caves
Virtual Malaysia, Batu Caves, http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/batu%20caves.html
Backpacking Malaysia, Rock-Climbing at Batu Caves, http://www.backpackingmalaysia.com/things-to-do/rock-climbing-at-batu-caves/kuala-lumpur