Batu Caves, Malaysia: Religious landmark of Hindus


Batu Caves is Kuala Lumpur’s one of the most famous tourist attractions. It is a limestone hill which consists of three major caves and many small caves. It is approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur. It is a 100-year-old temple which features statues and idols erected inside the main caves and some around it. It is consolidated with interior limestone formations which are said to be around 400 million years old. Hindus consider this temple as a religious landmark.
Cathedral Cave is the largest and most popular cave in Batu Caves. Beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling, there are several hindu shrines.  The Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave are the two caves at the foot of Batu Hill which houses many beautiful Hindu statues and paintings. There is a Ramayana cave on the entrance of which is the statue of Lord Hanuman and scenes from the great epic are depicted on the cave. 
Batu Caves are the focus of attention of the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which draws thousands of devotees and visitors. It is a colorful event which lasts for more than 7 hours. In the past the festival has drawn more than one million pilgrims, making it one of the colossal gatherings in the world.
Many disciples carry their offerings which are usually containers of milk  to the Lord Murugan on large, colorfully and brightly decorated ‘kavadis’. The kavadi is decorated with peacock feathers and flowers. Some disciples get their bodies pierced by hooks, needles to fulfil vows that they have made to the Gods. Visitors and travellers are truly fascinated by the dedication of devotees. There is a hard climb up to the top of the caves which includes 272 steps. The trek requires a remarkable amount of endurance. 


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