Caving in Kuala Lumpur
I've been to Singapore and Malaysia a few times on business. They're both clean, safe, orderly places.
Kuala Lumpur is a modern city in Malaysia with the tallest building in the world. The population is mostly Malay, Chinese, and Indian, so the city celebrates all three sets of holidays.
Batu cave is a Hindu temple cave North of the city. In the winter - after Ramadan, there's a Hindu festival called Thai Pusam with a featured activity being the breaking of coconuts in honor of Lord Subramaniam.
While the festival is going on, you can't get near the place in a car - hundreds of thousands of pilgrims fill the grounds and the streets around it.
More on Thai Pusam
I took these shots in the spring, on an ordinary Sunday afternoon. Here's the mountain from a few miles away. There's nothing else around it - just a long, steep limestone ridge surrounded by
The stairs take you to the mouth of the cave. If you're infirm, you can pay to be carried up there. They also sell spiritual goods like coconuts, and peanuts for the monkeys down on the plaza.
Halfway up we took a rest... this is work.
At the top, this gate welcomes you to the grounds. The area has cut limestone or concrete steps, and railings where you need them. There's a mix of natural and electric light.
This is the entrance room where they break the coconuts. There was a shrine on each side of the room. While we were there, they were attended by monks who did ceremonies for those who asked. The
shot was taken from the top of another 40 foot stairway which took us to the second big room.
The second big room is a karst window, it looked like about 100 meters up to the lip. Birds and monkeys were all over up there. The effect was diffuse blue-green light, cool and calming.
This shrine was in one end of the second room, at the opening to one of the passages further on.
This temple was near the shrine
Outside, at the bottom of the stairs, a temple garden and decorated cave is open to the public for a small fee. These monkeys were at the entrance to the cave, a few hundred yards of phreatic
cave passage with gravel floor and painted displays with figures of the gods.
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