The Batu Caves is one of the most popular attractions to visit when in Kuala Lumpur. It is only 11km away from the city center and easily accessible by commuter train from KL Sentral. It requires only half a day to get a good exploration of this popular Hindu temple out of India. And if you have been here before like I do, it would be interesting to see the recent psychedelic makeover done on this heritage site just a few months ago.
Outside India, the Batu Caves, also known as the 10th Caves or Hill of Lord Murugan is one of the most popular Tamil (Hindu) temples in the world. It is dedicated to Lord Murugan, one of the two divine sons of Shiva and Parvati. A gigantic 42.7 meter (140 ft) statue of Lord Murugan stands outside the caves, considered as the tallest in the world for this deity. If you’re interested with legend of how Lord Murugan came to be inside the Batu Cave, I wrote extensively here from my first visit.
A Psychedelic Makeover
It is interesting to visit the Batu Caves after almost a decade. My first visit in 2009 was kind of quiet with only a handful people at the site. Just late last month, I had the chance to visit Batu Caves again as it was one of the places in our itinerary for CEBTravel KL Familiarization Tour. It was a different place altogether. There is a large volume of tourist this time around. I know this place can get really crowded during the Hindu Thaipusam festival held the full moon of January or February. But it seems that lately there’s a steady stream of people coming and going here.
What’s noticeable this time around is the rainbow makeover on the 272-steps leading to the main cave opening of Batu Caves. It was only last August 2018 when this was unveiled. I’ve always thought that Hindu temples have always had this psychedelic flair. Always colorful and lots of details. So the colorful stairs do blend in but this “instagrammable” makeover was not without controversy. The National Heritage Department claims they did not give authorization for renovations which is required within 200 meters of the site. Temple administration claims though they have proper authorization. Whichever side is true, if ever the paint job would stay, numerous people will walk these steps as how the native macaques got used to people plying these steps.
How to Go to Batu Caves
If one has leisure time in Kuala Lumpur, Batu Cave gives a wonderful view of Hindu culture amidst the natural cave setting. It is easily accessible from the city. Here’s an easy nifty guide on how to go to Batu Caves:
- Fro KL Sentral, ride a commuter train to Batu Caves. There’s a line heading directly to Batu Cave Komuter Station passing by seven stations. Fare is RM 2.6 one way.
- Bus 11/11D at Bangkok Bank Terminus near Pudaraya Terminus and bus U6 from Titiwangsa also brings you to Batu Caves.
For a more convenient half-day guided tour of Batu Caves with hotel pickup and drop off you can book KKday Batu Caves Tour.
Cebu Pacific offers daily flights from Manila to Kuala Lumpur, with lowest base fares starting at PHP 2,088. KL is a perfect jump off point in exploring Malaysia.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.