How To Visit the Batu Caves

Batu Caves is essentially is a massive limestone hill; which contains a series of caves and cave temples throughout. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and it is dedicated to Murugan, a Hindu deity. How to visit the Batu Caves can be a little confusing though.

Batu Caves from the main entrance outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The cave is located about 8 miles north of Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia and some 100 meters high. It also has 272 very steep concrete steps to conquer if you’d like to enter the caves. It is free to enter although by the time you get to the top, most people are pretty winded.

272 steps up to the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


You also need to look out for monkeys all over the stairs because they will snatch your camera, hat, sunglasses or anything else they can get their little paws on. They remind me of the monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar, the little thieves that they are!

Monkeys everywhere at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The caves themselves are pretty impressive. Temple Cave, which is the main cave, has massive high vaulted ceilings that drip water from the top and have bats flying around. It also houses a few shrines and the aforementioned temple. There are also two other main caves and a few smaller ones as well. I only visited the three main caves but have heard the smaller ones can be interesting too.

Main cave at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


But the main draw to the Batu Caves is the 43-meter high golden statue of Murugan. It is an awesome site and it’s the type of site you just can’t take your eyes off. The bright gold paint glistens and attracts you to it.

Statue of Murugan at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The statue itself is made of concrete, steel and some 300 liters of gold paint that was imported from Thailand. It, along with the caves themselves, is also the focal point of the festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.

Close up of the Statue of Murugan at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The statue is one of those things that looks really cool from a variety of angles. So walking around from side to side, away and close are fun to see and photograph. The long hair you see from behind is pretty cool as well. As you ascend the stairs, they curve, and the statue disappears so if you want to take pictures from behind, do it about half way up the stairs. I’m sure you won’t mind a breather.

Behind the Statue of Murugan at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


At the base of the statue and stairs is a little area with some other temple shrines and also gift shops and other stores selling who knows what. There really aren’t any peddlers, which is nice and the only people that really harass you are the drivers hoping to take you back to Kuala Lumpur.

Behind the Statue of Murugan and afar at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


In order to get to and from the Batu Caves, you can take a taxi. You can easily get someone to bring you, wait around and bring you back to KL for about $15. You can also take the $1 train from KL Central Station that’s supposed to take about a half hour and runs allegedly every 15-30 minutes.

Cave with a small temple in it at the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


I’ll be honest; I took the train at first because I was staying right next to Central Station at the Le Meridien Hotel and the train got stuck between stations for an hour and ten minutes. The train conductor told us no information and it was really awful. Obviously that doesn’t always happen but it did happen to me.

New looking KL transit train


So for my money, spend a little more and get a taxi. The KL mass transit system may look new but it doesn’t always function properly. Don’t even get me started on getting to and from the KL Airport; which is like 100 miles from the city!

Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Anyway, the Batu Caves are a great day trip or even just a few hours trip outside of KL. If you are passing time on a stopover, I definitely recommend having a look. It’s a cool spot and seeing the statue and stairs alone are worth the trip.

Comments

  1. Hey Lee, looks like a very cool place.

  2. Those pictures look really cool. I have never been to Batu Caves but will definitely make the effort next time I’m working in KL.

  3. You always make everything sound so fun!

  4. Peter Bergen says:

    I visited there last year lee. It is a nice place to see and very different from the rest of KL.

  5. Stephanie says:

    That statue looks awesome.

  6. The transit system in KL is awful, I agree. I got stuck on that train for 2 hours once and like you said-no explanation given. It didn’t even seem to bother anyone that their lives were put on hold for 2 hours they’ll never get back. Never again.

  7. getting from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city is easy. When you come out of the airport terminal, look to your left and you will see many Luxury aircon buses waiting along the road. They charge a set fare of 5 Ringet

  8. Yes but then the bus take 1-1.5 hours to get to Central STation but then you still have to get to your destination..it’s very annoying

  9. Nice writeup Lee, was just there a couple weeks ago!

    For the readers, hired a cab for 45 myr each way from the city.. Ask the driver to wait an hour, since they probably have to go back anyways.

    My 2 days in KL was the worse traffic I have ever experienced in my life however, and I’m from LA

  10. When I was in KL, I loved it. Great culture, food, people, and everything else. Having a couple buddies who live there also helps. ;) I had a lot of fun in that town.

    But I never had a chance to see the Batu caves. It was one of the places I most wanted to hit, and I couldn’t quite get out there. I never realized it was so close to Kuala Lumpur. Now I regret it even more. Maybe I can blame throwing out my back that month… Nah. I mostly just ate.

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