272 Steps from Lord Murugan: Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Despite having travelled endless times to Kuala Lumpur – thanks to the close proximity to Singapore, and the many, cheap buses between the 2 cities – it was only on my 10th or 11th trip that I finally managed to visit the legendary Batu Caves.

I had previous wanted to see the caves during the Thaipusam festival, but had instead decided on sticking to Singapore for that period. But as luck would have it, with an extra day available during a weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur, I finally found the time to visit the caves.

Click here to check out the Thaipusam festival in Singapore!

Getting there

Batu caves is at the end of the train line (or Kommuter line, as they say in Malaysia) running on the Port Klang – Batu Caves route.

One of the most important Hindu shrines in Malaysia, the Batu Caves are located in the Gombak District and is close to the Batu river, which gives it its name. The name can be slightly misleading, as the Batu Caves is actually a series of cave temples, all dedicated to the Hindu God, Murugan.

Batu caves kuala lumpur malaysia

The temple leading to the caves. Note that this is not part of the cave temple structure, and just happens to be in the same complex.

Batu caves kuala lumpur malaysia mornings

Mornings at the Batu Caves complex are dream stuff for a shutterbug, if you like capturing temple activities.

batu temple kuala lumpur malaysia

Oh, just had to click this birdie!

The steps.  The statue. The temple

The Batu cave temple actually consists of 3 caves, out of which the cathedral cave is the biggest one. And apparently, the hardest to reach, if you consider the fact that you have to climb 272 steps to just get to the cave entrance. Yes, 272 steps!

But before you do that massive workout, take a moment to admire the Lord Murugan statue at the base of the hill. At a whopping 140 ft, this is the world’s tallest statue of Murugan. Oh, I even got him in HDR below!

Lord murugan statue batu caves malaysia

The lord murugan statue at the base of the cave. Notice the steep, climbing steps behind it, which leads you to the entrance of the caves.

272 steps of batu caves

Yep, those steps. Many devotees even carry heavy stuff with them all the way up those stairs.

And after all those steps, and some very nosy macaques on the way, you will reach the entrance of the Batu Caves. Note that there is another cave just below the entrance, called the ‘Dark Caves’, which are restricted for access due to some rare fauna and flora found there. If you continue climbing, you will see the high-ceilings of the Batu Caves, and its limestones carvings. Note that the lighting is not good for photography as you go past the entrance, and the use of flash is not encouraged since this is a religious site.

Entrance to batu caves

The entrance of the caves, captured from the inside.

Batu caves street food malaysia

Once you have finished your cave-walking sojourn, check out nearby the cave temples, for some very delicious Indian snacks. Made fresh on the spot.


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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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