Located in Gombak, state of Selangor, Malaysia, Batu Caves typically refers to the limestone hill housing a series of caves and cave temple, though there is also a nearby village with the same name. The hill is very popular for being the center of the annual Thaipusam celebration, in fact it is one of the most popular shrines dedicated for Hinduism that is located outside of India. There is a river flowing through the cave with the name of Sungai Batu or Rock River, which is said to be origin of the Batu Caves naming.
Specifically dedicated to Lord Murugan, an important deity among the Tamil people, Batu Caves is sometimes referred as the Hill for Lord Muruga or 10th Caves, considering there are six crucial sites for Murugan in India and four in Malaysia. Upon entering the area, one can immediately see the golden statue of the said Lord Muruga, which is the tallest of its kind, with the height reaching up till 42.7 metres. Nonetheless, Batu Caves is not all but a religious place, it also has a fair share of amazing rock formations due to the existence of the caves that is said to be 400 million years old. In its early days, the indigenous Temuan people have used the cave entrances as shelters and fast-forward to 1860, the Chinese settlers excavated the area for guano fertilizers.
Three decades later, an Indian trader named K. Tamboosamy Pillai was inspired by the cave layout and decided to dedicate the cave for worship by starting to install Sri Murugan Swami in the present-day Temple Cave. Back then, wooden steps were built in order to access the cave before they were replaced by the 272 concrete steps which have been one of the main features of the area, hence visitors may want to train a bit on their stamina if they want to go around this place, considering some of the highly anticipated attractions lie beyond the 272 steps.
People driving from Kuala Lumpur may drive via Jalan Kuching/Route 1 for immediate access to Batu Caves. The journey could take up around 20 minutes depending on the traffic.
The only train providing direct access to Batu Caves is the KTM commuter line. From the centralized KL Sentral station, take a KTM commuter directly to Batu Caves station.
Being one of the major caves around, Ramayana Cave is frequently visited by the worshippers and tourists alike. Located at the extreme left, along the way to the said cave, one can find a 15 meters tall statue of Hanuman and a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, an aide of Lord Rama. Upon arriving, one can witness the story of Ramayana, another Hindu deity, chronicled in the irregular cave walls. There are also other attractions and exhibits that are continuously added from time to time, so one visit may be different from the next. An entrance fee of five ringgit is charged per head.
Another popular attraction in Batu Caves, Cave Villa features another set of vast collection of Hindu decorations and paintings which are abundant around the area. Located only at the foot of the hill, visitors do not have to break their leg going up the 272 steps just to access this particular attraction. Entrance fee is charged at fifteen ringgit per person for foreigners and seven ringgit for Malaysian citizens.
Batu Caves Business Hotel is a neat hotel situated in Dolomite Park Avenue. This one-star accommodation is affordable with decorated facilities that are worth the price which include television, shower, family room, shops and WiFi.
Located in Jalan Sri Selayang, this two-star hotel is close to Batu Caves, hence money is saved on the transport costs. The facilities and services provided include television, shower, laundry, airport transfer, hair salon and shops.