Tag Archives: Malaysia

How to do a day trip to Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur

By Lakshmi:

Who?  If you are visiting Kuala Lumpur and have a half day to spare to visit a Hindu temple ensconced among limestone rock formations.

What? Batu Caves is located about 13 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur.

How? We did a half day excursion with a local tour company.  Many of them including Viator offer half day tours which may combine visits to a pewter factory, a Chinese temple or other local attractions.

The Viator tour costs from $34.66 per person and more details can be found here.

http://www.viator.com/tours/Kuala-Lumpur/Batu-Caves-and-Temple-Tour-from-Kuala-Lumpur/d335-3705KUL11

You can also take the train directly from KL central to the caves, which is a very economical option.

Why?  As a Hindu, it is not surprising that during our trip to KL, a visit to Batu Caves was a must do on our list.  We had heard that it was a century old temple dedicated to Lord Murugan and it was unlike any other temple that we might have visited.  That was enough information for us to sign up for an afternoon tour.  After partaking in a heavy, scrumptious lunch, we got in our mini bus enroute to the shrine.

Upon arriving at the ordained spot, we immediately realized that eating a big lunch was a mistake.  Before us stood 272 steep steps that we had to ascend to make our way to the caves that housed the shrine.  Off we trotted, somewhat slowly and sluggishly, wishing we had eaten lighter.  As we made our way to the top, we had playful monkeys on both sides, some seemingly chiding us for not being as quick footed as them!

Once we got to the top, we entered the caves where there were multiple shrines with devotees and priests offering prayers.  After paying obeisance to the Gods, we spent time looking at the limestone formations surrounding us.  It was one of the more surreal moments of prayer at a spot where the transformation of nature over the ages converged with the presence of an omnipresent force.

Masjid Negara – A Beautiful, Serene Mosque in Kuala Lumpur

Inside View of Masjid Negara
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has an hour or more to spare.

What? Masjid Negara also known as the National Mosque was built in 1965 and is a fully functioning mosque in the heart of the city.

How? The mosque is located across the street from the old Kuala Lumpur railway station at

Jalan Lembbah Perdana  50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
03-2693-7905

Entrance is free.  As this is a place of worship, please ensure that you are modestly attired and have a head scarf and clothing that covers your arms and legs.  Additionally, you need to remove your shoes before entering.  Please check with your hotel on prayer times and go in when you are likely to find the mosque to yourself.

Why? The Masjid Negara is a jewel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.  The mosque is located on a site with 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, reflecting pools and fountains and is a lovely tranquil spot feeling a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  It is a vast mosque, capable of housing 15,000 devotees at a given point in time.  As you approach the mosque, you are drawn in by the very unusual roof which resembles a partially opened umbrella.  This vision in blue is meant to depict the five pillars of Islam and the 13 states of Malaysia.

The mosque strikes the visitor as a very modern structure seeped deeply in tradition.  It is a perfect blend of the old and the new.  You face the beautiful, intricately carved walls as you feel the coolness of the marble on your feet.  The blue tile and glass work juxtaposed against the white of the marble and the blue of the carpet brings together the perfect blend of materials and art for a very soothing effect to the eye and soul.

We spent a couple of hours here, first taking in the mosque and then just walking around the grounds and fountains, emerging out into the very busy streets of Kuala Lumpur in a very serene state.