Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur – Tips for the magical Hindu caves + Thaipusam Festival

Without any ifs and buts, the batu caves are one of the greatest highlights kuala lumpur has to offer. The gigantic cave complex has captivated us not only once. We were there three times during our four-week trip to kuala lumpur and were able to experience hinduism first hand.

What makes the caves so unique, how you can easily get there and what you should not miss, we tell you now in our article.

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Things to know about the batu caves

The batu caves are huge limestone caves with several hindu temples and altars inside. The whole area was discovered many hundreds of years ago, but only in the 19th century. Century a little better known.

Meanwhile the caves of batu belong to the most important sights in kuala lumpur and attract accordingly many tourists as well as hindus. The main cave is even unbelievable 100 meters high, extremely impressive and the meeting point for many believers and pilgrims.

Especially numerous indians you can meet here at ceremonies and thus get an impression of the religion. When is the best time to visit the caves and to watch the believers praying, you will find out a little further down in the text.

By the way, the whole complex is located ca. 15 kilometers outside the city center of kuala lumpur.

Batu Caves indoor cave with templesBeliever lights a candle for the Diwali festival

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The gigantic statue of the god murugan & the steep ascent

The true flagship of the batu caves in kuala lumpur are not the large caves, but the gigantic golden statue of the god murugan, which is located directly next to the entrance to the caves.

The statue is unbelievable 42 meters high and has almost slain us at first sight. As we stood in front of it, we just slipped a quiet "wow…" Over the lips. We sat there for half an hour and enjoyed this mighty sight. As if the god murugan himself was watching over the entire city. Simply ingenious!

Also not to be missed, of course, is the huge four-part staircase that leads behind the statue to the entrance of the batu caves. You have to climb more than 270 colorful stairs to reach the top. Especially when the sun is shining the steep ascent is quite strenuous and you will definitely break a sweat.

The famous Murugan statue at the Batu CavesColorful stairs lead to the Batu Cave

Also you will meet there quite certainly free-living and sometimes quite cheeky monkeys. Avoid taking food in any case. The monkeys will smell it and will definitely not miss the meal. Cost what it may. ;)

Note: as tourists you should use the leftmost staircase for the ascent and the rightmost staircase for the descent. The two middle areas are only for devout hindus.

The ramayana cave

Besides the main cave with all the temples and altars you can also visit the ramayana cave. Inside are countless beautiful figures all telling different stories from hinduism.

Even if the whole thing is rather a kind of tourist museum we still liked the cave very much. This was mainly due to the fact that the figures were really super beautifully designed and the cave was made to glow by the most different lamps and fairy lights. There you can also pay the low entrance fee of MYR 5 (approx. 1,05 €) per person say nothing.

The entrance to the cave is a bit off the golden statue. When you are standing on the big square and looking towards the stairs, walk left along the path. At the end of the path you will see a green statue of the monkey god hanuman. Shortly behind it is the entrance or. The ticket booth for the figure cave.

Ramayana Cave

The incredible thaipusam festival

If you travel to kuala lumpur, try to be there at the time of the thaipusam festival. It is a huge three-day pilgrimage festival in hinduism and takes place at the caves of batu in honor of the god murugan.

For us the feast was one of the most impressive travel experiences ever. For two days we were there for several hours each time and enjoyed the mega intense spectacle.

Sequence of the thaipusam festival

Day 1: on the first day, thousands of devotees walk from the sri maha mariamman temple in kuala lumpur to the batu caves to begin the celebrations. Especially the arrival of the pilgrims at the caves was very emotional and gave us some goose bumps.

Day 2: the second day is the main day of the thaipusam festival. The area seems to be bursting at the seams and almost overflowing with believers. Despite the many people, you should definitely visit on the main day to experience the self-mortification of numerous pilgrims with their own eyes to experience.

There seem to be no limits. To show deepest gratitude to their god, some believers take the most extreme ordeals on themselves. Whether with small spears through the cheeks, countless hooks in the back or gigantic heavy wooden frames with murugan statues on the shoulders, the people drag themselves up the stairs to the big cave.

In a trance, they start dancing and pushing their bodies to the limit and beyond. Not for nothing there is a medical tent inside the cave which was filled up to the top during our visit. Many simply collapse due to the strain after reaching their destination.

To see the spectacle with our own eyes was just unbelievably touching for us. It is hard to put into words what has happened inside us. Rarely before we were left so shocked and at the same time so enriched. It was an honor for us to witness such a spectacle and it has changed our view of the world a lot.

Day 3: on the last day of the thaipusam festival at the batu caves there is not much to do and you can save the way to the caves. Also, due to the previous day, it is quite dirty and littered.

The silver chariot at the Thaipusam festivalPilgrim family on the way to the Batu CavesCelebrating people at the festivalCelebrating people at the festival

More info about the thaipusam festival:

  • Thaipusam is mainly celebrated by the tamil hindus in honor of the god murugan and takes place every year at the end of january or beginning of february at the full moon.
  • Through self-mortification, pilgrims want to thank their god for helping them through a difficult situation in life or simply atone for their sins.
  • This year there were over 2 million people on all three days. In contrast to the main day, the first and third day was much less busy, but of course also much less offered.
  • You will find hundreds of stalls offering food and drinks. So you definitely do not have to starve. On the path leading from the large forecourt to the right to the toilets, there are even special stalls where you can get free drinks.
  • If you want to see the festivities, prepare yourself mentally and spiritually. It is not for the faint of heart and will leave you extremely upset.
  • The festival is completely free.

Free drinks at the Thaipusam FestThe Cave during the Thaipusam Festival

The best time to visit

Either way, the batu caves are very impressive. No matter what time. But they will be really special if you go there during the hindu prayer times.

Then it is usually a bit busier and you can observe the indians on site at their rituals, ceremonies and prayers. In our opinion, the caves of batu unfold their full magic only during the prayer times. Definitely an incredibly spiritual experience.

However, you should be an early riser and arrive at the caves at 9:00 a.M. At the latest. If possible you should also choose a sunday. Most people have then free and time to come to pray at the batu caves.

Hindus at a ceremony

Entrance fees for the batu caves

Good news. The batu caves and the surrounding temple complex do not charge an entrance fee! You can walk directly from the monorail station to the caves and don't have to pay anything even when entering the big main cave.

Only for the "figure museum", as already mentioned above, there is a small entrance fee of 5 MYR (approx. 1,05 €) due.

Arrival at the batu caves

The independent journey to the batu caves is totally easy and very cheap. The trains that run on the port klang line of the KTM komuter train company go directly from the center of kuala lumpur to the caves.

You can get on at the big and central stations like KL sentral, kuala lumpur, bank negara or putra. The exact timetable with all stops and boarding possibilities of the red port klang line we have here for you: timetable

By the way, the caves are the terminus of the line. So it is impossible to miss the station, because you have to get off there anyway. Depending on where you get on the bus within the center, the fare is around 4 MYR (approx. 85 cents) and officially lasts 26 minutes. During peak hours, the trains run every 15 minutes. Otherwise every 30 minutes.

You can see for yourself, the journey is super fast and hardly costs anything.

Tours to the batu caves

If you don't feel like traveling to the caves on your own and want more insider knowledge about the caves, you can also easily book a special batu caves tour.

Check out this one at get your guide: batu caves tour – culture and temples*

Besides the batu caves you will also visit little india, chinatown and the thean hou temple during the tour.

Do you have any further questions about the batu caves in kuala lumpur or can you add anything else?? Then post it in the comments! We are looking forward to it.

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