Batu Caves, one of Kuala LumpurÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most frequented tourist attractions, is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus.
Cathedral Cave Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves Ã¢â‚¬â€œ houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings.
Batu Caves is the focal point of the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which attracts thousands of devotees and visitors. Usually held at the end of January, the procession begins on the evening before the Thaipusam Festival at the Sri Mariamman Temple in KL city centre.
The procession more often than not, arrives at Batu Caves in the wee hours of the morning the next day; the entire celebration commences then and is a colourful event that lasts a total of eight hours. In the past the festival has attracted more than one million pilgrims, making it one of the largest gatherings in the world.