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The Star Hill The Most Happening Place In Town

A mere 13 kilometres from the centre of Kuala Lumpur lies one of the most sacred places to the Hindu faith outside India, Batu Caves. As an important shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, Batu Caves, which lies in the Gombak District is not only a place of worship for Hindus but also a major tourist attraction.

 

The caves are said to be at least 400 million years old and is believed to have sheltered the indigenous peoples in early history. It became a place of worship only after K. Thamboosamy Pillai, a trader, was inspired to build a temple dedicated to Lord Murugan by the vel-shaped cave entrance. (Vel is the spear of Lord Murugan).

The most striking feature of Batu Caves is certainly the statue of Lord Murugan standing guard beside the stairs leading up to the caves. 42.7 metres in height, the gigantic statue can be seen miles away and towers over any visitors. Costing a sum of 26 million rupees, the statue was completed in 2006 and is notable for being the tallest statue of Lord Murugan in the world.

 

Lively vendors and colourful small shrines are found around the entrance of Batu Caves. Batu Caves consists of 3 main caves and multiple minor ones. Two of the major caves, the Gallery Cave and the Museum Cave can be accessed from the ground. These 2 caves are filled with paintings and items that depict Hindu mythology, most significantly the victory of Lord Murugan over the devil Soorapadman.

The biggest caves of Batu Caves, however, are not located on ground level, but require visitors to test their stamina by climbing up 272 stone steps to reach. After the climb, visitors can fully appreciate the beauty of the biggest main cave of Batu Caves, the Temple Caves, an awe-inspiring mixture of natural processes and man-made efforts. Colourful structure and shrines are contrasted with the majestic rock-and–limestone surfaces of the caves, which ceilings are as much as 100m above floor level. Statues and sculptures of various Hindu gods can also be found in the Temple Cave.

Below the Temple Caves are the Dark Caves, which are 2 kilometres of caverns untouched by human development. The flora and fauna in the Dark Caves are left alone and maintained. Access to the Dark Caves is restricted, but the Malaysia Nature Society regularly organizes visits for those who are curious.

 

The Batu Caves is most notable for being the destination for the Thaipusam festival. To celebrate Thaipusam each year, over a million devotees and curious participants march from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in KL to Batu Caves. Devotees can often be seen engaging in the practice of kavadi, which are burdens which are used to ask for help from Lord Muruga. They can range from simple pots of milk to elaborate altars which are attached to the devotees with hooks and chains that pierce their flesh. Priests attend to the devotees who carry the fleshpiercing kavadis, and it is said that no pain is felt and no blood is shed.

Below the Temple Caves are the Dark Caves, which are 2 kilometres of caverns untouched by human development. The flora and fauna in the Dark Caves are left alone and maintained. Access to the Dark Caves is restricted, but the Malaysia Nature Society regularly organizes visits for those who are curious.

 

The Batu Caves is most notable for being the destination for the Thaipusam festival. To celebrate Thaipusam each year, over a million devotees and curious participants march from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in KL to Batu Caves. Devotees can often be seen engaging in the practice of kavadi, which are burdens which are used to ask for help from Lord Muruga. They can range from simple pots of milk to elaborate altars which are attached to the devotees with hooks and chains that pierce their flesh. Priests attend to the devotees who carry the fleshpiercing kavadis, and it is said that no pain is felt and no blood is shed.