So many times have I looked at photos of the Batu Caves. As often as this huge golden statue filled the screen of my smartphone. I have long imagined what it will be like when I finally stand in front of it and can experience it myself. And when it was time, I was not disappointed. The Batu Caves have already fascinated millions of others and now me too.
The Temple Cave
The Batu Caves are actually limestone caves and are composed of many caves. They are only a few kilometers away from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and are a home to several Hindu temples. The name of the caves was given by the Batu River (Sungai Batu), which flows past the limestone massif.
The largest and most famous cave is the 100-meter-high temple cave where several Hindu shrines were built. From the outside you do not see it, but then from the inside, you only realize how imposing this cavity is. So high and so huge that you could place several skyscrapers in it. It offers enough space that even birds do not avoid them and fly relaxed over the heads of the tourists.
At the foot of the temple cave, one is greeted by the gigantic statue of the god Murugan. This reaches a height of 42 meters and has a magical gold shimmer, which is still very well visible even from far away.
Once you have found your way to Murugan, you still have to master the 272 colorful steps to finally reach the cave itself. The ascent is steep and exhausting. But do not worry, even the elderly will not shy away from this effort. On the way to the top you can effortlessly take several breaks and enjoy the view.
What do I have to consider
Of course, one should not forget that this is a religious and spiritual place. You should avoid revealing clothes. If you still have not thought of the dress code, you can easily hire a scarf at the entrance and cover the legs or sleeves.
On the stairs and in the cave itself, one will undoubtedly encounter the javanese monkeys. These cute little monkeys live there and are felt to be hungry. Many of the visitors bring fruit and give it to the animals to eat. But woe, you hide your provisions in your backpack. The monkeys will smell it and hang like a burdock on you. And they do it until you choose to share the goodies with them. I recommend you to take one or the other break during the ascent and do not miss the spectacle.
When is the best time to visit
The Batu Caves are a popular destination for both tourists and Hindus. You will inevitably have to reckon with a large crowd. I recommend you get up early and be there by 8 o’clock. At this time is not much going on and you come easily and without traffic jam to the entrance area.
Once a year (late January or early February) Hindus celebrate the so-called Thaipusam festival. During this time you can observe many believers in their ceremonies and rituals. Of course, this festival attracts numerous Hindus as well as many sightseers. At this time of the year, the area is quickly overcrowded. Long traffic jams at the driveway and an enormous amount of people are to be planned.
How much is the entrance fee
The entrance to the temple cave is free. There are donation boxes all over the area. If you meet one of these boxes, it is the perfect time to get rid of your change.
Einen ähnlich faszinierenden Ort werde ich nicht so schnell wieder finden. Leider hatte ich am Wochenende zu wenig Zeit, um die Gegend in Ruhe zu erkunden. Ich werde es auf jeden Fall bei meiner nächsten Reise nach Malaysia aufholen.