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Located to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill with three main caves and a number of smaller ones featuring temples and Hindu shrines. The place attracts thousands of tourists and worshippers being an important Hindu landmark.
The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. At the foot of the hill you’ll find two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, as well as the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world.
Top tips for your visit to Batu Caves
Arrive early in the morning. That’s the best way to avoid crowds and heat. Be sure to arrive on place before 10 AM to avoid crowds. The earlier you come - the better! If morning is not an option, late afternoon is another opportunity to discover the Caves at your pace after most tourist groups have left the place.
You’ll have 272 steps to climb. This will also be easier to do in the morning or in late afternoon. Be attentive while climbing, the steps may be slippery.
Monkeys will be common to see at Batu Caves, know that it’s better not to touch them (they may behave agressively). Avoid taking food up to the temples with you - they’ll feel if you have something in your backpack and won’t wait long trying to steal it.
You can book a guided tour before coming.
The Caves look gorgeous under the rain, but climbing up the stairs may be dangerous when it rains heavily.
The visit takes about 2 hours in average depending on how long you plan to spend discovering the shrines on the top.
Be aware this place is the main location of Thaipusam festival, that occurs in January or February (the date shifts every year). Batu Caves see around a million of devotees and thousands of tourists during the festival. Apart from crowds, you may be a bit underwhelmed by the litter inside at this period.
Prefer a weekday for your visit. Weekends always tend to be busier.
School holidays periods in Malaysia and Singapore are peak times: there will be more visitors in the Caves. Try to schedule your visit on another day if possible.
There’s a Dark Cave you may want to visit as well, located three quarters of the way up the stairs to the main temple. Keep in mind it closes earlier, around 5 PM. The educational tour of the Dark Cave lasts about 45 minutes, you’re allowed only in groups with a guide, so you’ll have to pay a small fee to be able to visit it. The admission to the main caves is free of charge.
Dress appropriately. Although there is no enforced dress code, this is a place of worship and you’re expected to have legs and shoulders covered while entering the temple caves.
Photo credits to Travis via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Best time to visit Kuala Lumpur
Though the tourist flow remains more or less stable throughout the whole year, the main tourist peak falls on December-January. As local children have school holidays from mid-November to the end of the year, it would probably be wise to avoid visiting Kuala Lumpur at this time, at least in December.
Second peak is in summer, June to August, mostly bringing tourists from the Northern Hemisphere.
The lowest season refers to Monsoon periods: April, October and November are usually the wettest months and therefore the calmest in terms of tourists.
The drier months of June and July are probably the most comfortable for the city’s visit, though if you’re passioned by the culture - the rainy weather will be a great pretext to discover Kuala Lumpur’s museums and other indoor attractions.
Photo credits to Phalinn Ooi via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
KTM Komuter: The KTM Komuter train service from KL Sentral to Batu Caves is the easiest way to arrive at the site by public transport.
Monorail and Bus: From KL Sentral, take the monorail service to Titiwangsa station. Alight here and take the bus to Batu Caves.
By Car or Taxi: Batu Caves are located beside the main highway of MRR2 in Batu Caves area, easily reachable by car or taxi.