One of the major tourist destinations here in KL are the Batu Caves. As they’re so popular, I decided to wait until after the weekend which I think turned out to be a very good move.
They were surprisingly easy to get to as one of the local commuter lines goes there. I caught my friendly monorail to KL Sentral station, bought a return ticket to Batu Caves for 4 Ringitt ($1.54) & a train arrived just as I found the right platform.
The main cave is free but as I was walking towards it, I noticed another interesting-looking cave which had an entry fee of 5 Ringitt. This was the Ramayana Cave, which according to one of the signs, was only opened in 2014.
Along the path towards the entrance there is a 50-foot (15 m) tall statue of Hanuman, a Hindu god & ardent devotee of Rama who is one of the many popular figures and deities in Hinduism. I’ve read that the Ramayana Cave depicts the story of Rama in a chronicle manner along the irregular walls of the cave although I could just admire the colour & artistry of the figures because I didn't have a clue about the story they were telling.
The best part was that for a long time I had the cave to myself. It was magical for a while, but then several groups of very small, very noisy school-kids came along & spoiled it all. However, they obviously knew the stories depicted so there was much excitement.
There was a wonderful staircase carved into the sides of the cave where you could climb right up to the roof. It was much too steep for the kids but the noise was even worse up there & eventually I had to come down.
The entrance to the main Batu Cave is incredible. There’s a huge golden statue standing at 42.7 m (140 ft) high of Murugan, another Hindu deity, next to a flight of 272 steps leading to the cave’s entrance. The statue, which was unveiled in 2006, is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from Thailand.
It was busy but not overwhelmingly so & I was ready to tackle the 272 steps to the top even though I’d just been up (& down) over 100 steps in Ramayana Cave. The weather was overcast but still hot so I needed a few rest stops along the way to admire the monkeys & the view.
The main cave, called the Temple Cave is huge & contains several Hindu shrines but not on the scale of the Ramayama Cave. After climbing the 272 steps, they didn’t tell you that you have to go up & down another 100 steps to get to the top cave where the roof has collapsed so it gives an ethereal light to the whole space.
The whole thing was an amazing experience & something totally different from anything else I’ve ever done. I hope some of my photos do it justice.
After coming down the steps, I looked around the numerous market stalls which always accumulate around such places, then, when I decided to head back to town, there was a train waiting so it was all very easy.
I had lunch at KL Sentral & did some shopping then got home just before a very violent thunderstorm hit. Now I have to start thinking of packing up because this wonderful excursion is fast coming to a close & I need to prepare to get back to reality.