Batu Caves: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Visiting Here

Published Categorized as Kuala Lumpur
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Looking for the best attractions in Kuala Lumpur? Then you’ll definitely be visiting the Batu Caves temple complex located on the edge of KL.

One of the most visited attractions in Malaysia, you may have already seen photos of the colourful Batu Caves stairs, the big Lord Murugan statue that guards the entrance, the colourful Batu Caves temples and the caves at the top. It makes for quite a sight and it’s only better when you see it in person.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves

If you’re wondering if it’s worth visiting Batu Caves, it definitely is. There is a lot to see and explore here and it’s a beautiful place for many reasons.

Below, I describe everything you need and want to know before your Batu Caves visit from what exactly you can see there, what it’s like inside Batu Caves, the Batu Caves history, the answer to where is Batu Caves, the Batu Caves temple opening hours, the entrance fee to Batu Caves, what you should wear and much more.

So keep reading! As you’ll soon know everything you need to about this great attraction in the full Batu Caves review with plenty of Batu Caves photos.

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What Is Batu Caves?

Put simply, Batu Caves is a set of Hindu temples built in both caves and the surrounds on the edge of Kuala Lumpur. There are four main caves to visit.

Keep reading for more details.

History Of Batu Caves Malaysia

Batu Caves Looking back towards KL
Looking back towards KL

Batu Caves is situated on a mogote which is a type of steep-sided hill made out of limestone, marble or dolomite. This limestone formation is thought to be around 400 million years old and is quite a sight on the edges of the massive Kuala Lumpur.

So if you want to know, when was Batu Caves built? The answer is they have existed for a long time. But its relatively recent history is when things become more interesting.

The caves found here were first used by humans as shelter by the indigenous population. Then around 1860, Chinese settlers began taking the guano found here (bat poo) for fertilising their gardens.

The Batu Caves story really begins when an Indian Tamil trader, K. Thamboosamy Pillai, dedicated a temple to Lord Murugan inside the caves. He promoted this to others in the Hindu community as a place of worship.

Then in 1890, Pillai, the founder of Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur, installed the consecrated statue of Sri Murugan Swami in Temple Cave.

After this, the tradition of celebrating the Thaipusam festival at this site began in 1892 and Batu Caves was on the map as an important site for the Tamil population of Malaysia.

Batu Caves temple history took a big step forward when wooden steps up to Temple Cave were built in 1920. In 1940, two sets of concrete steps were completed.

The next big change came in 2018 Batu Caves when the stairs were painted to form the famous, colourful site that it is today.

Today, Batu caves is one of the most popular Hindu temples outside India. It receives many visitors and is one of the most popular attractions in Malaysia.

Where Are The Batu Caves In Malaysia? And Batu Caves Address

Approaching Batu Caves
Approaching Batu Caves

The Batu Caves location is on the edge of Kuala Lumpur, about 13 kilometres from the centre.

The Batu Caves temple address is simply Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia. You can see the map below for where to find it as well as instructions.

Batu Caves Map

Batu Caves map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

How To Get To Batu Caves

KTM Komuter train at Batu Caves station. This is the ladies coach
KTM Komuter train at Batu Caves station. This is the ladies coach – you can’t miss it

It is simple to get to Batu Caves from KL. If you aren’t in KL yet, make your way to the capital and then you can follow our instructions from here.

You basically have two choices. Either take a taxi or get the train.

Taxis are the simple option and only cost around RM20 on the Grab app depending on the time of day and how busy the taxi service is. It takes around 20-55 minutes depending on traffic.

The other option is the KTM Komuter train. This is also straight forward.

Batu Caves is at the end of the line and you can easily catch this from KL Sentral or Kuala Lumpur station. This takes about 35 minutes and is clean and comfortable.

Read our full guide to how to get to Batu Caves here.

An even easier option where you’ll also learn more about Batu Caves facts is to take a tour. These are cheap and easy and usually available daily. See more information below on the best Batu Caves tour package options.

Batu Caves Opening Hours

I read many times before I visited that the Batu Caves opening times are 7am-8pm daily.

However, this isn’t quite true. The main temple and staircase area opened at 5:45am when I visited, but different parts of Batu Caves have different opening hours.

Cave Villa opens 8:30am – 5:30pm. Ramayana Cave opens 9am – 6pm.

If you want to make the most of your visit, going early does help you arrive when the tourists aren’t there. I took many of these photos 7:15 – 8am and you can see the lack of tourists. I was the only one there not worshipping which was a fantastic experience.

But then I was left waiting for other temples to open. It’s really up to you what works best.

Batu Caves how many steps
Nearly at the top!

Batu Caves Entrance Fee

The good news is that some of the Batu Caves attraction is free! So if you are on a tight budget, you can definitely still visit here and experience it.

Some of the individual activities in Batu Caves have an entry fee. The Batu Caves tickets price for Ramayana Cave is RM5 and Cave Villa is RM15. It’s cheaper for Malaysians.

Things To Do Around Batu Caves

There are a few different Batu Caves attractions including four caves, the colourful steps and, of course, the big Lord Murugan Statue.

Lord Murugan Statue Batu Caves

Batu Caves
Lord Murugan Statue

The Lord Murugan Batu Caves statue is the massive gold statue next to the stairs. You cannot miss it.

Its height is a massive 42.7 metres, and it took three years to build. It was actually only added to the site in 2006.

Lord Hanuman Statue Batu Caves

Lord Hanuman Statue Sri Anjaneyar Temple Batu Caves Hanuman
Lord Hanuman Statue Sri Anjaneyar Temple

The Lord Hanuman Statue is a green statue that is an impressive 15 metres high about 100 metres to the left of Lord Murugan.

There is also a temple next to this which is worth checking out.

Batu Caves Steps

Batu Caves steps count
Climbing the stairs…

Since the Batu Caves Malaysia steps were painted such amazing colours, they may be the most well known part of Batu Caves – and you’ll definitely want to take a photo and walk to the top to Temple Cave.

If you are wondering how many steps in Batu Caves, there are 272. It’s quite a work out!

The stairs are in good condition though with a hand rail so it’s easy enough to do.

Take a moment to turn around and take in the view as you walk up as well. You can see a fair bit of KL from up here.

Temple Cave

Inside Temple Cave at Batu Caves
Inside Temple Cave

Located at the top of the stairs, Temple Cave is the most famous of the Batu Caves. This is where you can easily explore the Batu Caves inside.

You’ll find a huge cavern with two shrine areas. The Batu Caves height is about 90 metres here.

The first temple is devoted to Lord Muragan and the second one is where the Sri Valli Deivanai temple is. This is devoted to the wife of Murugan.

It definitely feels like a world away from Kuala Lumpur.

Batu Caves Dark Cave

The Dark Cave Batu Caves is a conservation site.

It is located by an area about midway up the stairs. There is a path here that leads to the entrance of the Dark Caves.

Visits to this cave are by tour only. However, it was not clear to me whether tours here have resumed or not since they were stopped a few years ago.

If you are able to visit, this cave is not lit and known for its rock formations, wildlife, particularly the Trapdoor Spider which is meant to be the rarest spider in the world, and adventure activities.

The tours previously were either a shorter one where you got to see the rock formations and bats (and maybe a spider) or an adventure tour which included spelunking, visiting adventurous narrow sections and getting wet.

Ramayana Cave

Ramayana Cave
Ramayana Cave

Another of the Batu Caves things to do is the interesting Ramayana Cave. It’s located next to the Hanuman statue about 100 metres to the left of the stairs.

Ramayana Cave is much smaller with lower ceilings than Temple Cave, but it is decorated with many statues, shrines and scenes from the Hindu epic of the same name. More items are being added over time, so even if you have been here before, you may want to check it out again.

This cave has an entry fee which helps keep visitor numbers down making it more enjoyable.

Cave Villa

Entry to Cave Villa Batu Caves
Entry to Cave Villa

The final cave you’ll want to consider visiting is Cave Villa, just to the left of the colourful stairs. This can be an option if you can’t climb the 272 stairs to Temple Cave.

This cave has a RM15 entry fee (less for Malaysians) at the time of publishing, and there are a couple of entry points which are clearly signposted. It’s a privately own caved and not associated with the rest of Batu Caves.

After paying the entry fee, you get to walk across a bridge over a koi pond as pictured above. There are actually two caves here that also have statues, scenes and shrines.

Unfortunately, there are also some caged animals and reptiles in inhumane conditions, so I recommend you choose to skip this cave rather than pay to support this. I chose to not go inside for this reason.

Other Temples

The temple next to the stairs Batu Caves
The temple next to the stairs

There are multiple temples here in addition to the caves that you can easily visit as you explore the site.

You need to be dressed respectively to enter (see more about this below), and you should remove your shoes and socks.

These are such peaceful, special places to explore early as people made offerings and chanted. I highly recommend it.

Rock Climbing Batu Caves

Looking for more adventure on your Batu Caves trip? You can rock climb here!

You can do this in a 3-4 hour session with guides and all gear included. You do need a good fitness level but it’s ok for beginner rock climbers.

The climbing takes place at Gua Damai on the same limestone hills as the caves.

Click here more details and latest prices.

Thaipusam Festival

Thaipusam at Batu Caves
Thaipusam at Batu Caves

The main Batu Caves festival is for the annual celebration of Thaipusam, a major Hindu event.

It’s a three day festival which occurs in late January or early February with processions and many, many pilgrims.

It’s quite an experience and worth attending if you are around at the right time.

However, it’s quite a different experience to a trip to Batu Caves at other times so try to experience Batu Caves at a less busy time as well.

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There are three different options depending on whether you want to concentrate on street food, nightlife or off the beaten track places.

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Click here for all your options.

Batu Caves Tours

Here are some popular and affordable tour options…

Private Half Day Tour

In this half day tour, you’ll get return transfers and a private guide to ensure you get the most out of your experience. There are morning or afternoon options for a great price.

Click here for the latest prices and times.

Batu Caves + Other Local Stops

This half day tour includes return transfers, a guide and also two other stops in addition to Batu Caves.

You’ll visit the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and a Batik Factory showroom as well as learning more about the local area. There are morning and afternoon departures.

Click here for the latest prices and times.

Batu Caves And Genting Highlands Tour

You can also combine a visit to the Batu Caves with a visit to Genting Highlands for a fabulous day tour.

This tour consists of a driver-guide who will share the history of Malaysia while navigating through traffic to your first stop at Batu Caves. After this, he will drive you on to the Awana cable car to take you up to Genting Highlands (cable car included).

You’ll have free time to visit the theme parks and local attractions before taking the cable car back down, meeting with your driver and returning to KL. This Genting Highlands and Batu Caves tour is perfect for anyone who wants to make the most of their time in Malaysia.

Click here for the latest prices and times.

You can find more city tours that include Batu Caves here.

Batu Caves Dress Code

Batu Caves dress rules, Batu Caves what to wear
Dress rules

This is a sacred site and you need to dress appropriately. I met someone the day before my most recent visit who told me how she forgot to wear her long dress on her visit and had to buy the RM15 scarves to cover up.

To avoid this, you basically want to cover your knees and shoulders.

The photo above is from the bottom of the stairs up to Temple Cave and gives you a good description of what is ok and not. You can take your own scarf to cover up when going in the temples or buy one here if you are stuck.

You need to take your shoes and socks off to enter temples. This can mean that sandals can be easier. However, I recommend good walking shoes for the stairs so you can feel steady and supported, especially if they are wet.

Batu Caves Weather And When To Visit Batu Caves

Malaysia is in the tropics and basically this means it is hot and humid year round – and it could rain any time you visit Batu Caves. In fact, it didn’t rain during my visit, but there was water falling in Temple Cave so I still got wet!

The heaviest rains can be in March or April, but I would prepare for the fact that rain can happen at any time.

This means it is always smart to take an umbrella, but I would definitely try for a dry day when you visit. It wouldn’t be much fun walking up the Batu Caves staircase in the rain.

The weather Batu Caves experiences is always hot. Visiting first thing in the morning can feel a lot cooler though and I would avoid the heat in the middle of the day if possible.

Batu Caves Monkeys

Batu Caves monkey
Batu Caves monkey

The monkeys at Batu Caves have a mischievous reputation so watch out for them 🙂

They are not always around so you may not see them, but if you do, I recommend not having food out when they are around. It’s best not to fight them if they try to take something from you as they can bite. Basically, ignore them if you can.

Batu Caves Restaurant

restaurants near Batu Caves
Restaurants by Batu Caves. I was there early so not open yet

There are eating options right by Batu Caves as pictured above which is to the right of the Batu Caves Murugan statue.

Not much is open early, when this photo was taken, but you’ll never go hungry here.

Final Words

The Batu Caves temple Malaysia is an amazing place to visit and it should be high on your list of attractions to see when in KL. It’s easy to get here and combine with other sightseeing so there’s really no reason to miss it.

It was an extra awesome experience visiting early in the morning when everyone around seemed there to worship. The chanting, the cooler air, the amazing surrounds… such an experience!

You can read more about things to do in KL here, find our detailed guide to getting from KL to Batu Caves here or find our full Kuala Lumpur travel guide here. You can also find our list of Kuala Lumpur tours here – many include Batu Caves.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.