The monkey god Hanuman. Standing tall outside of the vast Batu Caves complex 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur in Selangor, Malaysia. This is one of the largest Hindu shrines outside of India. I’ve come here mainly to climb the 272 steps to reach the top of this limestone outcrop and see the large spectacular temple cave. Wherever you’ll find tourists in Asia, you’ll usually find pigeons and monkeys. At the base of the hill there are two cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave where you’ll find loads of Hindu statues and paintings on display.
At almost 43 meters this is the world’s tallest statue of the Hindu god of war and victory, Murugan.
The entrance and start of the 272 step climb to Cathedral Cave and already I’ve bumped into a show-off.The first steps were built in 1920 and made of wood. Later replaced with the current concrete flight.
In the Hindu month of Thai, January or February, the Batu Caves host the largest Thaipusam festival in all of Asia. Over 1 million people ascend these steps for worship. Many subjecting themselves to body piercings of hooks that are used to carry milk in exchange for answered prayers. Today, it’s just me, a few other tourists and these resident macaques.
Finally the first look at the spectacular caves. The limestone that formed the caves is estimated to be around 400 million years old. Chinese settlers in the 1860’s collected the guano, or excrement from the birds and bats that live here. Fertilizer for farming. The American naturalist William Hornaday is credited with making the caves famous when he discovered them in 1878.
After climbing the first steps before descending down into the next dark cavern I noticed orange flashes coming from below. These Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka seemed to appear out of nowhere. Adding to the already spiritual vibe coming from the temples and vastness of this place.
At the final steps to Cathedral Cave, the center of worship in the Batu Cave complex. To me this is like a natural version of St. Peter’s Basillica in the Vatican. Except there is no ceiling here. And the artist and architect was mother nature. I’ve always believed the outdoors are our greatest temple and spiritual retreat. The Batu Caves combine both the spirit of nature and the great beliefs of Hinduism. It’s insanely inspirational. For breezy-size.flywheelsites.com this is John Saboe from the Batu Caves in Selangor, Malaysia.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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