Discover Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur
While it is not technically inside Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves in Gombak are one of the most popular side trips for tourists from the capital. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India, but TripGuru recommends it for both culture vultures and nature aficionados.
Also known as the Tenth Cave, Batu Caves is a limestone hill that was dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu God of War. This dedication was done by K. Thamboosamy Pillai—founder of the Kuala Lumpur’s oldest temple, Sri Maharamariamman Temple—back in 1890. Since then, it has become a site of pilgrimage for Hindus around the world; hence the construction of the giant statue of Lord Murugan, which was unveiled in 2006. Today, pilgrims and travelers alike climb up the 272-step concrete stairway up the hill to reach the main Temple Cave, which contains several shrines to various deities. Those who cannot manage the uphill climb can stick to the two other cave temples at the base: Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave. Meanwhile, those who are looking for more adventure can join tours of the untouched Dark Cave, organized by the Malaysian Nature Society. They can also go rock climbing from one of its 160 routes, starting from the northeastern side of the caves; many of these are suitable for beginners.
Since it is still a religious site, travelers are urged to respect those who are performing traditional rites. While there is no compulsory dress code, tourists are advised to dress modestly out of respect and to wear comfortable shoes if hiking to the top. Smoking is also not allowed to help preserve the caves’ condition. For those looking for meals, there are also numerous halal and vegetarian food stalls at the foot of the caves. And when going around, make sure to secure important items, as monkeys are plentiful in the area and have been known to steal random items from tourists.
Coming from Kuala Lumpur, travelers can simply take the KTM commuter rail to Batu Caves station, which is walking distance from the cave complex. Travelers can also take the monorail to Titingwangsa Station and take a bus to Batu Caves. It is advised to go early as the area can be very crowded, especially on weekends.