Batu Caves, one of the popular tourist attractions/destinations in Kuala Lumpur, is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus. The Batu Caves is the largest Hindu shrine outside India, which is dedicated to Lord Murugan, a popular god of war and victory. The Batu Caves temple is said to be a 100-year-old, and it features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it.
Batu Caves is a limestone hill that comprises three major caves and several smaller ones with its interior limestone formations said to have formed about 400 million years ago. Until 1878, when American naturalist William Temple Hornaday revealed the Caves to the rest of the world, the caves were largely unknown outside of the local community.
The largest and most visited cavern in the Batu Caves is the Cathedral Cave. The Cathedral Cave is said to house many Hindu shrines underneath its 100-meter-high arched ceiling. Two more cave temples, the Art Gallery Cave and the Museum Cave are located at the base of Batu Hill and contain Hindu statues and paintings.
The annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which attracts thousands of devotees and tourists, is held at Batu Caves. The procession starts at the Sri Mariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur city center on the evening before the Thaipusam Festival, which is usually held at the end of January.
The procession usually arrives at Batu Caves in the early hours of the following day; which is when the entire celebration then begins, and it is a lively event that lasts for eight hours. The festival has drawn over one million pilgrims and tourists in the past, making it one of the world’s largest gatherings.