Batu Caves

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 Why do I prefer writing instead of making a vlog like the new generations do? The answer is simple: because when I write, I don’t need to speak. It means, I don’t need to pronounce something and make a stupid mistake with pronunciation. Even so, my blog is far from perfection; sometimes when reading my work, you might feel that you want to correct my spectacular misspellings which you can find effortlessly here.
Going back to pronunciation, I guess that it isn’t only me who has encountered some problems in spelling, and pronouncing name of places, especially if they are written in other languages. Tell me your experiences, yes please, so I won’t feel dumb…
Errors in speaking has happened many times during my lifetime. First, when my husband didn’t understand that I was talking about the main international airport in Moscow. ; (It sounds like “Domodedovo”, but it is spelled “Damadyedava”).
​Check this out…
Another time was when I was in Kuala Lumpur, asking for some information about Batu Caves. Instead of saying it like in English, I innocently said Batu Chaves (yeah, like Hugo Chavez). I didn’t even understand why I decided to pronounce it like that. When I was informed that my pronunciation was off, the guy in the reception looked like he didn’t even know whether to cry or to laugh…(literally). He might have burst out laughing because surely I wouldn’t be able to find “the stone of Sr. Chavez in Malaysia” or he could have even cried helplessly because “how is it that I looked like so Malay, but I didn’t’ even have any idea how to pronounce it well?” ; So, after a second or two of silence and deep thought, he decided that I had made a mistake and corrected me politely while showing me the way to get there.

and so, what is Batu Caves?

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The world’s tallest statue; the Statue of Murugan (a Hindu deity) stands in front of the main cave at 140 ft (42,7 m)
Judging by its name, some of you who speak Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Indonesia might speculate that this reputed place is full of stones as Batu means “stone” in both languages and some who come from English speaking countries will think that this area consists of caves, caves and more caves. Both opinions are definitely correct. Batu Caves, whose name is actually derived from name of river (Sungai Batu) or name of the nearby village, is a limestone that has a series of caves. Those caves are not just ordinary ones. The devoted Hindus had transformed it beautifully into shrines and temples along with Hindu statues and paintings.

How many Caves are there?

In total, there are three main caves and some smaller ones in this complex. Yet, the most popular one, and also the biggest is the Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave. When going up, the visitors need to dress appropriately: no shorts (obviously) and no tank top. What? Go up? Yeah, that is bad news for a person like me. Visiting the main cave means sacrificing. Here, you need to climb the stairs – small and hundreds of stairs while some monkeys are keeping their eyes on you. So, I decided not to go, not because I am a spoiled girl, but because I didn’t have enough time to climb, rest every 10 stairs, take a few sips of water, climb again, rest again and so on until they finally close and force me to go home even before I reach the top.
In total, there are three main caves and some smaller ones in this complex. Yet, the most popular one, and also the biggest is the Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave. When going up, the visitors need to dress appropriately: no shorts (obviously) and no tank top. What? Go up? Yeah, that is bad news for a person like me. Visiting the main cave means sacrificing. Here, you need to climb the stairs – small and hundreds of stairs while some monkeys are keeping their eyes on you. So, I decided not to go, not because I am a spoiled girl, but because I didn’t have enough time to climb, rest every 10 stairs, take a few sips of water, climb again, rest again and so on until they finally close and force me to go home even before I reach the top.
But don’t worry, they have a shrine I think is comfortable to visit: Ramayana Cave. Different from the previous one, this shrine is often forgotten by visitors. It’s not as popular as the big one not because everybody wants to see something more spectacular but because the location is a bit hidden, right on the left side of the entrance. In Ramayana Cave you will also find the unmistakable Lord Hanuman, guarding the cave that was erected and dedicated to him.

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Lord Hanuman

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The entrance to Ramayana Cave
Inside there are some interesting dioramas that depict the story of Rama in a chronological manner along the irregular shape of this cave. Also, if you want to prove that you are not as spoiled as I am, you can try the stairs placed precipitously at the end of the cave.

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The stairs
When I went with my husband, I bravely went up to the top, forcing my knees not to tremble and pretending that I wasn’t sweating in that cool cave. But on my second visit, my friend and I decided to crawl up the stairs with great effort, trying to control our feet, and then we changed our mind. Good thing nobody saw us, so we weren’t mistaken for two old, lost grandmothers.

Well, where is it? And how do I get there?

Batu Caves is situated in the outskirt of KL.
You can go by public transportation, such as LRT, from any direction to KL Sentral and buy a new ticket from KTM to Batu Caves. If you’re still confused, take a look at this map:

kuala-lumpur-train-map-july-2017-latest.pdf
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If you’re a lazy-ass and going by public transportation is not your style, you can arrange a tour through the hotel or any travel agents available in KL. They have their own shuttle bus, so you won’t need to do anything more than sit calmly and enjoy your journey.
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