Ask yourself this: When was the last time you visited Batu Caves? If it’s been a while, why not venture out to the famed rainbow steps for a change? Whether you’re looking for creative ways to explore Malaysia or need suggestions to recommend to your friends who are visiting, we can assure you that checking out Batu Caves will be a memorable time. Without further ado, here’s a detailed guide to Batu Caves, Malaysia.
Tourists may be familiar with our iconic skyscraper, the Petronas Twin Towers, but have you been to Batu Caves? As one of the biggest attractions in Malaysia, Batu Caves is a limestone hill consisting of beautiful caves, temples and Hindu shrines. Apart from its stunning caves, the main attraction is the colossal gold-painted statue of Murugan (Hindu God of War), which took three years to build. According to Discover Walks, it is the third tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. The tallest are Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Indonesia and Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.
Famed for its iconic 272 steps, the journey leads to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple and offers a breathtaking view of the statue and city. If it isn’t your first time, we’re sure you’ve seen the stunning makeover these steps received in 2018. While it has always been a go-to tourist destination, the steps were recently transformed into an Instagram-worthy spot, thanks to the kaleidoscopic staircase. In fact, homegrown artist Yuna shot her music video for her single Forevermore on the iconic steps, and we think it’s absolutely stunning. The steps are also known to have loitering monkeys, so be sure not to interact with them, as they can be pretty aggressive.
Read on for our tips on exploring Batu Caves, and in the meantime, don’t miss out on our guide to discovering Malaysia.
The ultimate guide to Batu Caves:
How can I get to Batu Caves?
By KTM train
Depending on where you’re coming from, take the LRT to KL Sentral and be prepared to switch to a KTM train for a direct trip to Batu Caves. The journey from KL Sentral to your final destination is about 40 minutes.
Check out the schedule here.
The price may be costly, but it’ll be faster and more convenient. You can go ahead and order a Grab to the destination or drive there. If you don’t own a car, check out these websites to rent a car.
Is there an admission fee to enter Batu Caves?
There is no admission fee to visit the main temple complex. However, if you’re planning to explore other caves, such as the Ramayana Cave and the Dark Cave, the ticketing fee is priced at USD 1 and USD8, respectively.
A guide to the main attractions at Batu Caves
There are three caves to explore: The Temple Cave, The Dark Cave and The Ramayana Cave.
The Temple Cave
The Temple Cave, also known as the Cathedral Cave, is dedicated to Lord Murugan. You must conquer and accomplish 272 steps to reach the temple. Not only will you be greeted with a stunning view of the limestone cave, but you can also admire the sunlight penetrating through the high ceiling openings during the day.
According to Lonely Planet, in the first cavern, tourists can admire Murugan’s six abodes carved into the walls, while the second cavern holds the temple of Sri Valli Deivanai, Murugan’s wife.
The Dark Cave
In the Dark Cave, curious explorers and scientists have ventured into these caves since the 1880s. Considered the longest cave system in Batu Caves, the caves live up to their name as there are no lights installed for visitors when exploring these caves. Before the pandemic, visitors were allowed to purchase the adventure tour where they could learn more about cave formations, wildlife and creepy-crawlies. Unfortunately, the adventure tour is currently closed till further notice.
The Ramayana Cave
A tourist favourite, the Ramayana Cave offers the most beautifully embellished caves in Batu Caves depicting the mythology of Ramayana — a love story of one of the most significant Hindu scripture. If you’re not familiar with the tale, The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit where Prince Rama ventures into a quest to rescue his wife, Sita, from Ravana with help from an army of monkeys.
To get there, all you need to do is to pass the Hanuman statue and cross the bridge to enter. As you make your way, it’s hard to miss the sleeping figure of Kumbhkaran and a deep sleeper. It’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the tale that is beautifully carved on the stones.
Is there a dress code?
As a place of worship, it is advisable to dress appropriately when you’re there. For ladies, we recommend wearing long dresses or pants and ensuring your shoulders are covered. As for men, it’s best to keep things simple with a tee and shorts (below the knee) or a pants combo. Of course, the appropriate form of footwear is a pair of sneakers or your ideal comfy shoes. You will need it to climb 272 steps.
When is the best time to visit Batu Caves?
Batu caves is open every day from 7 AM – 9 PM. The best time to go is in the morning before 9 AM if you want a good photo-op taken on the Batu Caves steps. Depending on your visit’s aim, take note that the Thaipusam (a festival celebrated by the Hindu Tamil community) celebrations will occur every year between the end of January and the first week of February, while Deepavali celebrations begin in October or November. Due to its natural beauty and temples, the Batu Caves have become a celebrated destination for those who want to pay their respect to Lord Murugan.
If you want to join in on the festivities, go ahead. However, if your aim is to explore the caves and admire the temples, it’s best to avoid the area during the festive season.
Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor
Operating hours: 7 am – 9 pm
Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy of Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Opened from 6 AM to 9 PM, the best time to visit Batu Caves is before 9 AM and after 4 PM.
Answer: We recommend going early in the day or late in the evening to avoid the crowd and scorching heat.
Answer: If you're not exploring the caves, visiting Batu Caves and the temples are completely free.
Answer: Be sure to dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes.