MyTravelJournal#1 - Batu Caves, Beautiful and Sacred Place in Malaysia

Last week, I spent time with my family in Malaysia. There were quite a few places we visited on that short vacation. One of the most memorable was Batu Caves which is located in the Gombak district, Selangor, Malaysia. The distance from our lodging is not too far, only about 15 minutes away by taxi within the city for 15MYR for 3 passengers.

We arrived at Batu Caves at around 10:30 am, where there were already a lot of visitors. If you're planning to visit this place, try to go as early as possible (around 8 am) so that you can enjoy the place better because it's usually not too crowded and the air is still not too hot. Well, here's a little story about my experience while visiting the location

Since I was using a taxi, I got off right in front of the main gate and took a leisurely 5-minute walk to the Lord Murugan Statue. But if you use a private vehicle or tour bus, your vehicle can enter and park at the location provided by the manager. There is no entrance fee charged to enter the area, but visitors will be charged to participate in rituals provided by the manager. Anyway, based on the information I obtained from the internet, the statue is 42.7 meters height and is the third tallest Hindu deity statue in the world.

In front of the Lord Murugan Statue, there is an open space that tourists use to gather and take pictures. Many pigeons flock to this place. Visitors can feed the pigeons, which are sold by the management. I noticed that many tourists buy food so that they can be surrounded by pigeons and at that time their friends will try to capture the moment.

When facing the direction of Lord Murugan Statue, on the left you will find a prayer place. What I like about this building is that the colors are very varied and striking. The carvings on the pillars and walls are also very distinctive and very interesting to look at in detail. In addition, on the roof of this building, I also found many statues of gods.

I spent about 30 minutes enjoying the beauty of the open space I mentioned earlier. Not to forget, of course, I also took quite a lot of documentation both in the form of photos and videos, as a memento.

After being satisfied with taking documentation at the location, I decided to continue my journey to the cave location. The journey was quite challenging because we had to climb a lot of stairs and I thought that I would be very tired before reaching the cave.

One thing to watch out for is the presence of monkeys, which are native to the area. On several occasions, I found some visitors screaming and backing away because they felt intimidated by the presence of the monkeys. On the other hand, there were also visitors who got attacked by the monkeys. I don't know why it happened to them, but what I do understand is that we don't need to show fear to them nor intimidate them. We should remember that it is their home.

My advice, when walking up these steps, is to simply walk calmly and leisurely and keep a safe distance from the presence of the monkeys. If on one occasion, the monkeys make their way toward you, simply continue your walk and move slightly away from the direction in which the monkeys are coming.

After about 10 minutes of climbing the steps, I finally arrived in front of the cave mouth. There are several kiosks in this area selling soft drinks and souvenirs. Since I had forgotten to bring water from the inn, I decided to buy mineral water at the kiosk. The price of a 450ml bottle of mineral water is 3MYR. After buying the drinks, I took a short break before continuing my journey to the inside of the cave. In addition, I also took the opportunity to look around at the goods being sold at the stalls.

There are so many things for sale at this location ranging from food, souvenirs such as bags, clothes, and miniatures of some iconic places in Malaysia such as the twin towers, and even incense sticks. Anyway, once you enter the mouth of the cave, you will breathe in the distinctive aroma of incense being burnt.

Once inside the cave, I was amazed and mesmerized by the scene in front of me. The well-lit condition of the cave and the humid air were very appealing to me. On the left side of the first part of the cave, there was another building used for prayer. I visited that location, where visitors are required to take off their shoes first. There is also a ban on taking photos of the deity statues inside this building. Inside this prayer building, the scent of incense that I had previously inhaled grew stronger.

After that, I continued my journey up the rest of the stairs, of which there were not many. There were other prayer structures at this location and the lighting was brighter than the previous part of the cave. Here I was able to capture some pictures that I found interesting.

Previously, the taxi driver who took me to this location said that there were snakes at the end of the cave. I myself was very curious about the presence of this creature, but unfortunately at that time, I did not find the animal. At this location, there is also another prayer building, which is much smaller than the previous two.

Having had enough of the final section of the cave, I decided to head back. As I was about to descend the stairs, I found the landscape to be very beautiful, as I could see the entire first section of the cave. Here are some pictures

My amazement did not stop there. When going down the main stairs, I was stunned by the view that was presented in front of my eyes. Not only could I see the view of the Batu Caves grounds, but I could also see the view of the city buildings not far from this location. I can confidently say that this view is one of the best I have ever seen in my life. The beauty that I saw as I descended the stairs step by step, made the fatigue not feel at all.

When we arrived at the open space I mentioned earlier, it was already 12:00 pm and the sun was beating down. Finally, my group and I decided to continue our journey to another tourist spot, because we didn't find a place to take shelter at that time.

I almost forgot one thing. Regarding the cost of participating in the rituals and specialties I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am attaching a photo I took of the location.

That's all for this trip. I hope you liked it. If there is any information that may be incorrect in my writing, I will be happy to edit it so as not to misinform others, so please let me know if you find any errors. See you on the next #MyTravelJournal!

All these pictures were taken using iPhone XR
and processed through Adobe Lightroom

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