Explore the magnificent Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur when you visit Malaysia. It’s very easy to get to and really cheap, you don’t need an organized tour or anything when you visit, just have your maps ready and the physical energy to climb atop the limestone hill! There are several caves you can visit in Batu caves and the place is filled with monkeys too, that might steal your food if you ever show them.
BATU CAVES, MALAYSIA
Batu caves is one of Malaysia’s top tourist attraction located just north of Kuala Lumpur, its capital. A limestone hill with three major caves and several smaller ones, it is said that Batu caves are as old as 400 million years old! This is a sacred place for the Hindus in the country dedicated to their Lord Murugan, his golden statue proudly stands just outside of Batu caves.
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Annually, a unique Hindu festival - Thaipusam, is celebrated in Batu caves, visited by thousands of devotees. This festival lasts the whole day with colorful events that is usually held in the end of January. If you’re okay with the crowd and their festival, it’s a chance to see what other cultures have.
ATTRACTIONS IN BATU CAVES
There are 4 caves you can visit in Batu caves which is its main attractions. I haven’t visited one of the 4 yet, but the 3 caves are really worth to see and I recommend visiting all of them. These are the 4 caves you can enter:
- Temple Cave (aka Cathedral Cave)
- The Dark Cave
- Ramayana Cave
- Cave Villa
The first cave you will see when you enter the area from the train station is the Ramayana Cave. You’ll easily spot this one because of the tall green statue of Hanuman - the monkey god in Hindu. There’s an entrance fee if you want to enter this cave though.
Entrance Fee: RM5
Inside the cave are wonderful and colorful statues depicting the scenes of Ramayana - a Hindu epic. It feels like being on a field trip when I visited the place, it’s like a museum cave. From the entrance there are plaques
where you can read what the statues’ stories are, I only later realized that they are arranged as a story.
There are very steep cave stairs that you can climb, at the top is a movie-like scene. Looks like a dungeon in video games too, you can only see a few here because the deeper areas are off limits.
It’s both wonderful and beautiful at the same time, do visit this cave! The statues are well done, and the area is spacious enough, there aren’t enough visitors or tourists when I went here. And the upper part of the cave is very mysterious, makes me want to visit again and ask what’s beyond the gate.
TEMPLE CAVE (aka Cathedral Cave)
This is the main cave that can only be seen if you climb up the 272 steps to the top. Be ready to reserve your physical energy for this one, especially on a sunny weather, you will be toasted! This cave is a Hindu Temple devoted to their Lord Murugan. His golden statue stands outside the entrance.
Before you alight the stairs, colorful statues welcomes you. There are monkeys jumping and waiting on the stairs for someone they can victimize, remember to hide your foods and drinks, do not ever show it to them if you don’t want to share. Let’s not spoil them also as they may get aggressive if we, tourists or visitors don’t give them what they want.
Atop is a massive chamber, the ceilings are really high, it’s spacious and beautiful. Inside is bright as there are several holes where day light can pass through.
There’s another set of stairs that leads to a shrine, it has a large open ceiling with plants growing at the top. This area has no entrance fees.
THE DARK CAVE
Located half way the stairs to the main temple cave on the left. If you want and enjoy educational and scientific cave adventures, this conservation site is for you. There’s 2 types of tour here:
- Educational Tour (RM35 adults, RM25 children) lasts 45 minutes
- Adventure Tour (RM80 adults, RM55 children) 3-4 hours
Helmets and headlights will be provided for you at the registration area, flash photographs are strictly not allowed inside the cave, this is a home of the bats and you’ll disorient them with bright lights.
The Dark Cave Educational Tour teaches you about this cave’s ecosystem, how it was founded, what important creatures are living here and the main lesson here is how important the guanos support the ecosystem within the cave. What are guanos? Its the droppings of the fruit and insect eating bats living in the cave. Yup, their poops!
It is also the home of the Trapdoor spider, the rarest spider in the world. Other creatures also live here aside from the bats. Different cave formations can be seen, centipedes, snakes, bats and other crawly creatures live deep inside. The tour ends with the collapsed area of the cave, only a very small part of the area is allowed to be visited in the educational tour.
The tour is very informative and I feel like our tour guide really loves her job. She was so funny, we were all laughing at her jokes inside the cave. If you like learning new things, your RM 35 is worth it to take this educational tour.
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For the adventure tour, well, it’s a more adventurous way of exploring the dark cave, there will be climbing, crawling and sliding, it’s more fun right? We only took the educational tour and this looks fun to me to try next time. This tour requires 1 week advance booking and subject to availability, it depends on the confirmed dates of the other groups when you can tour the cave.
For more information visit the official website for the Dark Cave.
I did not know this exists, so I haven’t seen this part of Batu Caves yet. It’s located below the limestone hill, I don’t know how we missed this one.
HOW TO GET TO BATU CAVES
From KL Sentral: Take the KTM Komuter train, Batu caves is the last station. This is the easiest route.
From Central Market: Ride Intrakota bus No.11
At Jalan Pudu: Ride the Cityliner bus No.69
This is also accessible by taxis and private vehicles.
It’s wonderful that this huge million year old limestone hills are easily accessible by train, and it’s near their capital city Kuala Lumpur. Aside from it being easy to go to, Batu caves also offer educational tours for a friendly price. I appreciate this place as it’s not too commercialized, the amount of tourists when I visited is just right, not too overcrowded.
BATU CAVES: THE MAJESTIC LIMESTONE HILL
Before we actually went here, I was so lazy to get up from our hotel bed.
Good thing my friend talked me into visiting this place. As a manga lover too, when I saw the statues it instantly reminded me of RG Veda. If you're a fan of CLAMP too, you'll get why hahaha.
- Batu Caves is worth the visit, especially since it is just close to Kuala Lumpur.
- Prepare yourself climbing the stairs!
- And do VISIT THE DARK CAVE!