Just north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves is a popular and awe-inspiring complex of caverns that serve as Hindu temples and shrines, tucked into the limestone cliffs. The attraction comprises three major caves and several smaller ones. Here, the relatively new, 100-year-old religious site meets the ancient 400-million-year-old rock formations.
As you approach the Batu Caves, one of the most important Hindu sites in Malaysia, you’ll meet a large golden guardian. This nearly-43-metre statue of Lord Murugan, the Hindu deity of war and victory, has been keeping watch at the entrance of this favourite destination of tourists and the religious since 2006. The caves themselves, however, have attracted visitors for much longer: pilgrims have been coming here for more than 120 years.
After you’ve greeted Lord Murugan, visit Art Gallery Cave and Temple Cave at the base of the hill, where you’ll find many Hindu statues and paintings. Then ready your legs – and heart – for the well-worth-it climb up the 272 concrete steps to the caves.
At the top, breathtaking views of Kuala Lumpur await. Inside the caves, expect a remarkable mix of natural rock formations with more statues, paintings and shrines. Massive Cathedral Cave boasts an impressive 100-metre-high arched ceiling.
A tour of the Dark Cave will have you learning about the natural history here and the wildlife that calls this cave and this area home. Among the more than 200 species in residence are macaques (be sure to hold your belongings close as you pass these ever-curious monkeys), bats and the trapdoor spider – the world’s rarest arachnid.
Admission to the main Temple Cave is free, but others caves have varying entry costs, and opening hours vary, too. Outdoorsy adrenaline junkies can also get their fix rock-climbing here. The Batu Caves are only 13 kilometres outside Kuala Lumpur.