Interesting Places In Malaysia
Located 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is another of several places in Malaysia whose name is a combination of words in Malay and English with related meanings. Batu means stone in Malay, so Batu Caves could well mean stone caves. Batu Caves, the biggest venue of the Thaipusam celebrations in Malaysia, is one of the major tourist attractions in Selangor.
Batu Caves were first discovered by an American explorer by the name of William Hornaby in 1891. Ten years later, the local Indians persuaded the British authorities to allow them to use the caves as a Hindu place of worship. A shrine was built in honor of the deity Lord Murugan, also known as Lord Subramaniam. In later years, another shrine was added, dedicated to the elephant-head deity Ganesh.
The main cavern of Batu Caves is also known as the Cathedral Cave, due to the height of its ceiling. This main cavern is reached by a steep flight of steps that total 272. From the top of the steps, one can get a good view of the northern part of Kuala Lumpur. About 2/3 of the way up the steps is a path leading to Dark Cave, which has narrow passages full of bats.
Batu Caves is also the centre of rock climbing development in Malaysia for the past 10 years. More famous for its role as a religious centre for Hindus in Malaysia as well a prominent tourist attraction in the country, not many people realise that Batu Caves offers more than 160 climbing routes.