Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
26.12.2008 - 26.12.2008 85 °F
One of the more interesting sites that we visited while in Kuala Lumpur was the Hindu shrine of Batu Caves. This temple has a series of smaller shrines that are built inside a giant cave. While it is definitely set up as a tourist attraction, with all of the hawkers and beggars that you would expect, it is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites outside of India and attracts over 1.5 million pilgrims a year!
The entrance of the site is guarded by a 140 ft golden statue of Murugan and a whole bunch of monkeys. The monkeys are relatively tame and really just sit around and wait for tourists to give them something to eat (or drink).
To get into the caves, we had to climb up 272 steps to the main entrance. The cave itself was quite impressive and roomy. There we several holes near the top that let down beams of light that really gave the whole place a ethereal feel.
All of the individual shrines were scattered in different nooks of the cave. In typical Hindu style they were all brightly colored and had intricate carvings, sometimes directly into the stone face.
It was definitely a cool site and I can only imagine what it is like during the Thaipusam festival when all the pilgrims come to worship.