Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

high-definition creative commons photographs from this famous cave temple in the capital of Malaysia, which is the largest Hindu pilgrimage center outside India, together with some further information.

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Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from Batu River, which flows past the hill. The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli).

Rising almost 100m above the ground, Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a 100m-high ceiling, and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors have to climb a steep flight of 272 steps.

The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to the god Sri Murugan. It was started in 1891 by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, and is the focal point of the annual Thaipusam festival which takes place in January/February and attracts over more than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world.

Text adapted from Wikipedia (retrieved, July 5th 2009)

8th October, 2008

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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