Batu Caves

Sugar, spice and all things light. The most festive holiday of the year for the Hindus have arrived and I can’t think of any place more significant to join in on the festivities Deepavali rings in other than Batu Caves. One of Kuala Lumpur’s most visited attraction, this magnificent limestone hill is made up of a series of caves and cave temples dedicated to the Hindu deities.

It isn’t hard to miss this famous landmark with a 140ft-tall statue of Lord Murugan, also known as the World’s Tallest Statue of Murugan, dressed in gold hues welcoming you into this sacred ground. Did I mention it recently underwent a facelift with what is now an iconic addition to this historical place? All 272 steps leading up to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple are now bursting with traditional Indian colours, making it the talk of the town. Although the steps leading up to the cave temple may seem a little daunting to attempt, the view from above is truly breathtaking.

Every year, Hindus alike flock here to rejoice in the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The best part of it all? You don’t need to be a Hindu to enter the temple or join in on the festival. Just be wary of your choice of clothes as there is a strict dress code to enter. Ladies are required to cover up their knees and shoulders, or rent a cover up for RM5 at the bottom of the hill, before climbing your way up. During the day, you can witness thousands of devotees gathering here to pray in reverence to Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Lord Ganesha, lord of wisdom and education. At night, you can see Indian households decorated with colourful lights, and fireworks illuminating the night skies to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes for blessings.

However, with all the religious splendor on display on this joyous occasion, don’t forget to watch out for the monkeys. These cheeky primates are not shy to relieve you of whatever you have in your hands and demand for whatever it is you have in your bags. Do not, and I mean do not, under any circumstances, make contact with these little creatures.

Benson Kua

Photo credit: Benson Kua

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JoCoolz

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