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Published: February 24th 2012
BATU CAVES, SALANGOR, MALAYSIA. Friday 24 February, 2012.
We made it to Batu Caves this morning. This series of caves is located in a limestone hill, 13 km north of KL in the Selangor district. The limestone is some 400 million years old. The 3 main caves take their name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River which flows past the hill.
The cave entrance is reached by 272 concrete steps. At the bottom of the steps is a gold statue of Lord Murugan. At 42.7 m (140 foot) high, it is the world's tallest statue of Murugan - a Hindu Deity. We were exhausted when we got to the top of the steps. As you climb the steps you are constantly hounded by the local troops of Cynomolgus/Macaque Monkeys. They will snatch anything that is dangling but are particularly partial to bottles of water which they will cheekily grab from your hands as they dash by. As we witnessed, they have mastered how to take the tops off the water bottles and how to open cans of pop and then take a drink. They seem to be well fed on coconuts and bananas by the local temple workers.
Some of them were quite aggressive and, as we had not had our rabies jabs, we gave them a wide birth. However, the mothers carrying their babies were very cute.
Once inside, the cave is divided into several Hindu temples. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu Shrines beneath its 100 metre vaulted ceiling. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.
After visiting the Cathedral Cave, we descended the steps to the entrance to the Dark Cave (about a third of the way down). We found out that the next guided tour would be in 35 minutes. However, when M discovered that this particular cave was an environmentally protected area as one of the last known sites for the rare Trapdoor SPIDER!!!! and also several species of Bats, M decided it was far too long to wait!
When we reached the bottom of the steps we decided to go for some refreshments and agreed on some fresh coconut (D had tried it before). The man on the stall selected one from the
fridge so that it would be nice and cold, hacked the top off, gave us two straws for the milk and a spoon for the flesh and away we went. Delicious.
We then had a mad idea - why not go into central KL and take a look at the famous Petromas Towers. We found the towers but the car park was full. Then the heavens opened, pouring down litres of rain. We could hardly see, the map was rubbish, and we got lost. We did find a posh golf club though (in the hills in the wrong direction from our hotel!) We made it back about 5 pm after a quick shop at Tesco for some 'provisions'. We ate at the same place as last night as it was so good, but will tried some different fayre.
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