The Batu Caves Temple in Malaysia stands out as a monumental focal point of the significant contribution made by the Indian settlers in the development of Malaya and then Malaysia (1963). The 113 year old main temple, dedicated to Lord Subramaniar, is lodged in a cave about 400 feet above ground level.
The three caves are known as the Valluvar Kottam, Art Gallery and the Ramayana Cave. The depictions are spectacularly graphic. The Ramayana Cave presents a concise but comprehensive narration of Lord Rama's history.
Valluvar Kottam and Art Gallery Caves
A short walk along a zigzag bridge over a pond teeming with fish, terrapin and tortoises brings the visitor to Valluvar Kottam and Art Gallery Caves. Quaint cupolas at the angles of the zigzag bridge provide shade where the visitor could stop to watch or feed the teeming aquatic life.The cave walls of the Vallurvar Kottam are covered with statuary exhibits, murals and inscriptions of the poet's couplets. The exhibits are used to illustrate relevant couplets from the Tirukkural, his entire works. Valluvar Kottam is so lit that the atmosphere of a silent cave is well preserved.Not to miss is the statue of the five-legged bull. The owner of this freak, five-legged bull gave it away to the Batu Caves Temple soon after it was born. The fifth leg of the bull grew from the back near the bull's hump. In all other respects the bull was healthy and roamed freely around the temple grounds as long as it lived among a harem of cows. It died a natural death after spending its entire life on the temple grounds.
The Ramayana Cave
The Ramayana Cave occurs to the extreme left as one faces the sheer wall of the hill. On the way to the Ramayana Cave, 50 foot tall murti of Hanuman and a temple dedicated to Hanuman.The consecration ceremony of the temple was held on November 2001.The Ramayana Cave depicts the story of Ramar in a chronicle manner quite effectively. The Cave is well lit and allows the visitor to stroll leisurely viewing the depictions along the irregular walls of the cave. One might experience the feeling that one is strolling through the giant intestines of the mighty demon, Kumbhakarann, brother of King Ravana of Lanka.
The Dark Cave
The hill massif is also home to the primitive Trapdoor spider, Liphistius Batuensis, which is in danger of extinction. It is believed that the Batu Caves are the only place left in the world where this spider species still exists. Naturalists fear that this rare spider might face the same fate as the serow, a species of mountain goats, last seen in 1989 and, which might have been hunted out of existence in this area.The Dark Cave which occurs at a point along the stairway leading to the Temple Cave, is still a pristine state. Cave formations and crystals carved and moulded by the hands of Nature remain untouched by the destructive hands of man. Various species of fauna abound in this cave.
Batu Caves is an interesting place where it is made of 30 caves, but only a few caves are developed. The main caves are the Temple Cave, Dark Cave, Cave Villa and Ramayana Cave. The highest cave is called the Temple Cave. It has small shrines to Hindu gods and a Tamil-style Hindu temple.
The Temple Cave has a vaulted ceiling of 100 meters high. Right above the cave is an opening where ones can see the cloud or the sun. A flight of 272 steps lead up to the Temple. The stairway is divided into sets of 17 steps which each lead to a landing.The majestic 140.09 ft high, the world's tallest statue of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, is located at the base of a 272-step staircase of Batu Caces. This is a masterpiece of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam's visionary leader, Datuk R. Nadarajah,
In 2001, Datuk R. Nadarajah got a vision from Lord Muruga to build a beautiful statue of the deity. Being a strong devotee of Lord Muruga himself, he was passionate about his vision and initiated the project of building this wonderful masterpiece of Lord Muruga. It took him 5 years to complete this project with much effort. Every detail of the project was supervised by him personally to ensure that the statue was built successfully.
The statue, which cost approximately RM 2.5 million, is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tons of steel bars and 300 liters of gold paint brought in from neighboring Thailand. It was crafted by 15 exceptionally experienced Indian sculptors and 15 semi skilled workers from India who worked more than three years and two months on the project. Finally the world witnessed the launching of this magnificent statue by the Honourable Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu on 29th January 2006.
Temple is opened from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm.
Best time to visit is from 8.00 am to 12.30 am and from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm.
Thai poosam and pongal were celebrated grandly every year.The highlight of Thaipusam will be the procession of the silver chariot with with the idols of Lord Murugan and his two consorts Valli and Theivanai placed in it.