Your Essential Batu Caves guide to avoid the Crowds (2024)

Batu Caves are regarded as the most important Hindu temple outside of India. They are a pilgrimage site for Hindus in Malaysia and across the globe and are adorned with impressive statues and rainbow painted steps (272!). They are inhabited by many monkey’s, hordes of Pigeons and surrounded by local vendors hawking the usual tourist fare.

But are the Batu Caves worth visiting? The limestone caves are impressive, and the rainbow painted steps are beautiful; I can see why they often appear on social media. The hike up the steps is a good workout, and the monkeys are very entertaining, especially for the kids. However, once you’ve seen the cave, there’s not a lot else to do there.

Overall, we were glad we went, it was a nice morning and the monkey’s antics and feeding pigeons kept the kids happy.

The Batu caves are located 13kms North of Kuala Lumpur, you can get there by train from KL Sentral (the station is a 5 min walk from the caves) or take a taxi via Grab – our preferred option. It’s a short trip (20 mins via Grab) and you will spend around an hour there, entrance is free. William (our 5-year-old) tripped on the train station escalator and had his Croc chewed up!

If you’re staying in Kuala Lumpur check out our guide. Also make sure you consider the unforgettable Langkawi Island in your Malaysia Itinerary and Legoland if you want to relive your childhood!

Our Tips for the Batu Caves

  • Monkey safety. They’re everywhere and whilst they are very entertaining, they do pose a danger if you are not careful. Keep your food in your bag and be careful they don’t pinch the sunglasses right off you head! (Yes, we saw this happen!). Remind your kids they are wild animals and not to be approached.
  • Avoid the crowds. We went first thing in the morning on a weekday. Mid-week is the best time to visit for lower visitor numbers. This way you avoid the weekend crowds and tour groups shuttled in via bus. We arrived at 8.15 along with a school group, but overall, not too busy. If you leave it until later in the day, it can get overrun which would really impact on the experience. The Batu Caves open at 7am so go earlier if you’re more organized than us!
  • Avoid Public Holidays and Festivals: Batu Caves can get exceptionally crowded during public holidays, especially during major festivals like Thaipusam. Try to avoid visiting during these times if you prefer a quieter experience.
  • Avoid the heat. It gets incredibly hot so go early to beat the heat as well as the crowds while you hike those 272 steps. You will need to be able to walk up the steps as there is no alternative way to enter the caves.
Inside Batu caves

Batu Caves – Facts to know before you go

Located just north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Batu Caves are a captivating natural and cultural landmark:

  • Iconic Landmark: Batu Caves is a series of limestone caves and cave temples that attract millions of visitors each year.
  • Hindu Shrine: Within the caves, you’ll find a series of Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Murugan, making it one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
  • Giant Statue: The site is famous for its towering statue of Lord Murugan, standing at 42.7 meters (140 feet) tall, making it one of the tallest statues of a Hindu deity in the world.
  • Thaipusam Festival: Batu Caves is the focal point of the annual Thaipusam festival, where devotees embark on a pilgrimage to the caves, often carrying kavadis (burdens) as acts of penance and devotion.
  • Natural Wonder: The caves themselves are a marvel of nature, with intricate limestone formations and caverns that have been formed over millions of years.
  • Dark Cave: The Dark Cave, located near the main temple complex, offers guided tours that provide insights into the cave’s unique ecosystem, including rare species of flora and fauna.
  • Rock Climbing: Batu Caves is a popular destination for rock climbers, with numerous climbing routes available on the limestone cliffs surrounding the caves.
  • Cultural Events: Throughout the year, Batu Caves hosts various cultural events and ceremonies, including Hindu weddings, religious rituals, and music festivals.

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