From the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory, we returned to our van and moved on to nearby Batu Caves, a series of caves and cave temples within a limestone hill. One of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, the caves, discovered in 1892, are located 13 kms. (7 miles) from Kuala Lumpur.
Outside the main cave is the world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan (a Hindu deity for whom the temple is dedicated), standing at 42.7 m. (140.09 ft.) high. Costing nearly 24 million rupees, it is made of 1,550 cu. m. of concrete, 250 tons of steel bars and 300 liters (800 gallons) of gold paint brought in from neighboring Thailand.
Me, Grace and my kids Jandy and Cheska all gamely climbed the magnificent but quite steep 272 steps (luckily there were landings along the way where we can catch our breath and admire the view at the same time) leading up to the 100 m. high and 400 m. long Cathedral Cave (or Temple Cave), the main cave (there are 2 others) where the Murugan Temple is located. The huge chamber is lighted by daylight from several holes in the ceiling.
Along the steps and within the cave are numerous, naughty, playful and sometimes aggressive long-tailed macaque monkeys. The temple is the focal point of the colorful Thaipusam (on a full moon day between January 15 and February 14), the annual Hindu festival of repentance.
Batu Caves: Gombak District, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: +60 3 2287 9422.
How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Batu Caves is by Komuter train (RM2.00, one way) from KL Sentral station. You can also take a taxi (RM20.00-25.00) from KL Sentral, the Bus 11/11d from Bangkok Bank Terminus (Near to Pudu Raya Terminus) or Bus U6 from Titiwangsa.