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Batu Caves
Batu Caves
(Tamil: பத்து மலை) is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu (Stone River), which flows past the hill. It is the tenth (Pattu in Tamil) limestone hill from Ampang. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
is also the name of a nearby village. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu
Hindu
shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu
Hindu
festival of Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in Malaysia. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
in short also referred as 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Muruga as there are six important holy shrines in India
India
and four more in Malaysia. The three others in Malaysia
Malaysia
are Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh, Tanneermalai Temple in Penang and Sannasimalai Temple in Malacca.

Contents

1 History 2 Religious site

2.1 Administration

3 Nature, flora and fauna 4 Rock climbing 5 Festivals 6 Development 7 Transportation 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] The limestone forming Batu Caves
Batu Caves
is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people
Temuan people
(a tribe of Orang Asli). As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the 'vel'-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Murugan within the caves. In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Murugan
Murugan
Swami in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam
Thaipusam
festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there. Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave
Cave
were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu
Hindu
shrines beneath its high vaulted ceiling. Religious site[edit] See also: Lord Murugan
Murugan
Statue

Standing at 42.7 m (140 ft) high, the world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu
Hindu
deity, is located outside Batu Caves. The statue, which cost approximately 24 million rupees, is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighbouring Thailand.

Rising almost 100 m above the ground, the Batu Caves
Batu Caves
temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave
Cave
or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu
Hindu
shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps. At the base of the hill are two more cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, both of which are full of Hindu
Hindu
statues and paintings. This complex was renovated and opened as the Cave
Cave
Villa in 2008. Many of the shrines relate the story of Lord Murugan's victory over the demon Soorapadman. An audio tour is available to visitors. The Ramayana Cave
Cave
is situated to the extreme left as one faces the sheer wall of the hill. On the way to the Ramayana Cave, there is a 15 m (50 ft) tall statue of Hanuman
Hanuman
and a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, devotee and aide of Lord Rama. The consecration ceremony of the temple was held in November 2001. The Ramayana Cave
Cave
depicts the story of Rama in a chronicle manner along the irregular walls of the cave. A 42.7-metre (140 ft) high statue of Lord Murugan
Murugan
was unveiled in January 2006, having taken 3 years to construct. It is the tallest Lord Murugan
Murugan
statue in the world. Administration[edit] Batu Malai Sri Murugan
Murugan
Temple is managed by the Board of Management of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam, which also manages the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur and the Kortumalai Pillaiyar Temple. It also performs the role of Hindu
Hindu
Religious Consultant to the Government of Malaysia
Malaysia
in determining the Hindu
Hindu
yearly calendar. Nature, flora and fauna[edit] Further information: List of fauna of Batu Caves There are various undeveloped caves which contain a diverse range of cave fauna, including some unique species, such as Liphistiidae spiders and Eonycteris and fruit bats. The site is also well known for its numerous macaques, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily. These monkeys may also pose a biting hazard to tourists (especially small children) as they can be quite territorial. Below the Temple Cave
Cave
is the Dark Cave, with rock formations and a number of animals found nowhere else. It is a two-kilometer network of relatively untouched caverns. Stalactites jutting from the cave's ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor form intricate formations such as cave curtains, flow stones, cave pearls and scallops which took thousands of years to form. In order to maintain the cave's ecology, access is restricted. The Malaysian Nature Society organises regular educational and adventure trips to the Dark Wet Caves. Rock climbing[edit]

Sunshine on the Rock at Batu Caves

Batu Caves
Batu Caves
is also the centre of rock climbing development in Malaysia for the past 10 years. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
offers more than 160 climbing routes.[1] The routes are scattered all around the side of Batu Caves, which is made up of limestone hills rising to 150 m. These climbing routes are easily accessed, as most crags start from ground level. These climbing routes often start from the North Eastern side of the cave complex whereas the staircase and temple entrance faces South. This North eastern area is known as the Damai caves. Abseiling and spelunking trips can be organised with some local adventure companies. Festivals[edit]

Icons carried in procession during Thaipusam
Thaipusam
at Batu Caves. Also seen in the background is the 42.7 m high golden statue of Lord Murugan.

The Batu Caves
Batu Caves
serve as the focus of the Hindu
Hindu
community's yearly Thaipusam
Thaipusam
(Tamil: தைபூசம்) festival. They have become a pilgrimage site not only for Malaysian Hindus, but Hindus worldwide, from countries such as India, Australia and Singapore. A procession begins in the wee hours of the morning on Thaipusam
Thaipusam
from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur
leading up to Batu Caves
Batu Caves
as a religious undertaking to Lord Muruga lasting eight hours. Devotees carry containers containing milk as offering to Lord Murugan
Murugan
either by hand or in huge decorated carriers on their shoulders called 'kavadi'. The kavadi may be simple wooden arched semi-circular supports holding a carrier foisted with brass or clay pots of milk or huge, heavy ones which may rise up to two metres, built of bowed metal frames which hold long skewers, the sharpened end of which pierce the skin of the bearers torso. The kavadi is decorated with flowers and peacock feathers imported from India. Some kavadi may weigh as much as a hundred kilograms. After bathing in the nearby Sungai Batu (Rocky River), the devotees make their way to the Temple Cave
Cave
and climb the flights of stairs to the temple in the cave. Devotees use the wider centre staircase while worshippers and onlookers throng up and down those balustrades on either side. When the kavadi bearer arrives at the foot of the 272-step stairway leading up to the Temple Cave, the devotee has to make the arduous climb. Priests attend to the kavadi bearers. Consecrated ash is sprinkled over the hooks and skewers piercing the devotees' flesh before they are removed. No blood is shed during the piercing and removal.[citation needed] Development[edit]

The main temple of Murugan, Batu Caves.

Housing development began around 1970 with housing estates such as Taman Batu Caves, Taman Selayang, Taman Amaniah, Taman Sri Selayang, and Taman Medan Batu Caves. In the last decade, the surrounding area has changed from a small village to industrial estates, new housing and retail. There is also an elevated flyover across the highway. A new 515-million-ringgit KTM Komuter rail extension from Sentul to Batu Caves
Batu Caves
began operations in July 2010, serving the rebuilt Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Komuter station. On 1 January 2011, during the Thaipusam
Thaipusam
festival, it was announced that a cable car would be built for the following year's festival. It would cost around 10 million ringgit.[2][3] Transportation[edit] Batu Caves
Batu Caves
is easily reached by commuter train at the  KC05  Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Komuter station, costing RM 2.6 for a one-way journey from  KA01  KJ15  MR1  KE1  KT1  SBK15  KL Sentral. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
may also be reached by bus 11/11d from Bangkok Bank Terminus (Near to Puduraya Terminus) or bus U6 from Titiwangsa. Batu Caves
Batu Caves
is also easily reached by travelling in car. See also[edit]

Malaysian Indian Indian Singaporean Kavadi

References[edit]

^ ("Rock Climbing @ Batu Caves".Xes ^ " Cable car
Cable car
service in Batu Caves
Batu Caves
next year". New Straits Times. Kuala Lumpur. 16 January 2011. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.  ^ "RM10 mil cable car for Batu Caves". Malaysia
Malaysia
Kini. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batu Caves.

Batu Caves
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is what you seek Batu Caves
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Famous Murugan
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Temple outside India, Hindu
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Devotional Blog. Murugan.org - Batu Caves How to get to Batu Caves
Batu Caves
by Train Batu Caves
Batu Caves
Thaipusam
Thaipusam
Official Page Thaipusam
Thaipusam
at Batu Caves, Malaysia Cave
Cave
fauna Rock Climbing in Batu Caves The Batu Caves
Batu Caves
in Malaysia Batu Caves

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