Widely regarded as the most popular Hindu religious site outside of India, Malaysia's Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur stand up to their reputation as nothing short of spectacular. A 154-foot-tall (47-meter) golden statue of Lord Murugan greets visitors at the base of the caves, whose high ceilings are pockmarked with holes illuminating the brightly painted Hindu shrines and sculptures below.
Contributing to the popularity of the Batu Caves is their proximity to Kuala Lumpur, with many a day trip offering hotel pickup and drop-off from accommodations in the city. Many tours appeal to travelers making the rounds of top attractions in the area by offering trips that combine a tour of the caves with visits to Little India, the Petronas Twin Towers, the Batik Center, the Royal Selangor pewter collection, and more.
Most visitors flock to the Batu Cave complex to see Cathedral Cave, the main cave and attraction well worth the 272 steps to the entrance (especially if you beat the afternoon heat). Those with an interest in Hindu mythology can duck into Cave Villa, a small cave dedicated to mythology located halfway up the steps, or nearby Ramayana cave, which is marked by a towering green statue of the monkey god Hanuman and contains flashy displays depicting the Hindu epic Ramayana. Those craving adventure can squirm through tunnels and sprint alongside stalactites on a guided four-hour spelunking expedition in Dark Cave.
Travelers should not bring food to the caves — monkeys are known to attack.How to Get to the Batu Caves
Short skirts and shorts are not permissible at the caves.
The Batu Caves are generally not accessible to wheelchair users.
Dark Cave adventure tours must be booked in advance.
Catch the Intrakota bus No. 11D or Cityliner bus No. 69 for a 30-minute ride to the caves. Trains (take the KTM commuter to Sentul station) and chartered taxis are also available.When to Visit the Batu Caves
Visit in the morning to walk up the steps before the afternoon heat kicks in. Also keep in mind that up to a million devotees flock to the caves every year during the festival of Thaipusam in the Hindu month of Thai, generally falling in January or February. Go to see parades of devotees if you're interested, or avoid if you don't like crowds.