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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 01, 2019
Headline for Facts about the majestic Batu Caves – Home of Lord Murugan
Joanna James Joanna James
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Facts about the majestic Batu Caves – Home of Lord Murugan

Built-in 1891 the Batu Caves is home to the Hindu god Murugan and is one of the most beloved sites in Malaysia, attracting millions of visitors each year.


The Cave

The site of the caves is over 400 million years old and its rocky caverns were used by the indigenous Besisi people as shelters when foraging. The caves became famous after its limestone hills were discovered by a taxidermist, William T. Hornaday.


Largest Murugan Statue in the world

Standing at 42.7 meters the Lord Murugan statue was revealed in January 2006. It is the third-largest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. The material for the statue was brought from Thailand, 1550 cubic meters of concrete with 250 tonnes of steel and 300 litres of gold paint went into its creation.


Thaipusam Celebration

The largest festival celebrated in the caves was first celebrated in 1982 and attracts over a million devotees each year. The festival celebrates Lord Murugan receiving his divine bow and arrow from his mother, goddess Parvati. Devotees celebrate by carrying the kavadi and by giving milk offerings.


272 steps

Initially, there were 272 wooden steps to lead you to the temple; they were first built in 1920 but have now been replaced with concrete steps. In August 2018 the steps were painted with multifarious colours with each set of steps in different shades.



Kavadis are two semi-circled decorative objects made of pieces of wood or steel; they are bent and attached to a cross-like structure that has to be balanced on the shoulders of the devotee. The framework at times is attached to the bare skin of the pilgrim with metal hooks and rings; this is usually done as a fulfillment of vows made to the god. Kavadis are highly decorative and are adorned with flowers and peacock feathers and can weight up to 100 kilos. During Thaipusam many devotees carry the kavadis up the 272 steps to be received by Lord Murugan, this arduous and patient task of piety is truly remarkable to behold. The priests at the top of the steps greet the pilgrims by sprinkling ash over the piercings before removing them.


Prehistoric caves

Even if you are not a religious visitor many wonderful sites remain to be discovered at Batu. The site has many small caverns for you to explore all of which dates back to millions of years. The most popular caves are houses of worship, with many shrines and statues to honour the gods. The Dark Cave caters to spelunking enthusiasts and amateurs, while rock climbing is allowed at the back of the cave. These beautiful prehistoric surroundings are a great treat for lovers of nature and spirituality. Batu Caves are located 13 km north of Kuala Lampur and many hotels will arrange taxies to the site. You can also opt for a serviced apartment KL where you will have a whole apartment at your disposal. PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur is one of many to consider.

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