Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Batu Caves (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) ~ December 16, 2010

Batu Caves
The  Batu Caves are situated thirteen kilometers (seven miles) north of the capital city Kuala Lumpur. They are the sacred place for the Hindus in Malaysia. They consist of three main caves and a number of smaller ones. The caves are made of limestone and 400 meters long and 100 meter high. They were discovered in 1892. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village. Considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it.

The world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity
Standing at 42.7 meter (140.09 ft) high, the world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, is located outside Batu Caves, near the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The statue, which cost approximately Rupees 24 million, is made of 1550 cubic meters of concrete, 250 tons of steel bars and 300 liters of gold paint brought in from neighboring Thailand.

Macaque Monkeys at Batu Caves who want  peanuts and bananas  which you can buy in several shops before you climb up to the caves.
The site is also well known for its numerous macaque monkeys, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily. These monkeys may also pose a biting hazard to tourists (especially small children) as they can be quite territorial

At the foot of the Batu Hill
Cathedral Cave – the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves – houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave – which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings.

Beautiful doves will greet you at the foot of the Batu Caves Hill

The doves suddenly took off and I was surprised

I love to have my photo taken seated with the doves but unfortunately they flew to the other side

Hindu Festival of Thaipusam
Batu Caves is the focal point of the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam. It's a celebration for the son of Shiva (Subramaniam) and the becoming "one" of  Pusan and the Brihaspati stars. 

Every year, on Thaipusam, as many as 800,000 devotees and other visitors may throng the caves. As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry kavadis (literally, "burden," such as a pitcher or jug). These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue.

By doing this penance they expect some favours from their Gods. The festival is held in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar (mostly the end of January). The procession begins on the evening before the Thaipusam Festival at the Sri Mariamman Temple in KL city centre.

You have to climb 272 steps, which will lead you to the religious and magnificent Batu Caves

Opening Hours: Daily, 06:00 - 21:00

Address: Batu Caves, Sri Subramaniam Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2287 9422

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