Have I seen you somewhere before?
Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
250Trip End Dec 01, 2011
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I end up catching the news before a movie which entices me and therefore by the time it finishes at 10.30am I only then get ready for the day!! I head to good ol McDonald's for breakfast and use of there wifi as the internet at the hotel is currently down and I'm behind yet again on the blog entries!!
I then decide to take the train today... the first experience of Malaysian public travel!! The system here is not as good as Singapore but one thing that does stand out is out of all the carriages there is one designated to just females!! The moment a male gets on he is ushered off!
I arrive at Batu caves which is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.
The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.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).
As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878.
Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K.Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the 'vel'-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga within the caves
In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.
Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling rising almost 100 m above the ground, the 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 100 m-high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps. Hmmm yes my legs felt it!!!
At the base of the hill are two more cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, both of which are full of Hindu statues and paintings. This complex was renovated and opened as the Cave Villa in 2008. Many of the shrines relate the story of Lord Murugan's victory over the demon Soorapadam. An audio tour is available to visitors.
The Ramayana Cave is situated to the extreme left as one faces the sheer wall of the hill. On the way to the Ramayana Cave, there is a 50-foot (15 m) tall statue of Hanuman and a temple dedicated to Hanuman, the noble monkey devotee and aide of Lord Rama
The Ramayana Cave depicts the story of Rama in a chronicle manner along the irregular walls of the cave.
A 42.7-metre (140 ft) high statue of Lord Muruga was unveiled in January 2006, having taken 3 years to construct. It is the tallest Lord Muruga statue in the world.There are various undeveloped caves which contain a diverse range of cave fauna, including some unique species, such as Liphistiidae spiders and Eonycteris and Rousettus fruit bats. The site is also well known for its numerous macaque monkeys, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily. These monkeys may also pose a biting hazard to tourists (especially small children) as they can be quite territorial.
Below the Temple Cave is the Dark Cave, with rock formations and a number of animals found nowhere else. It is a two-kilometer network of relatively untouched caverns. Stalactites jutting from the cave's ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor form intricate formations such as cave curtains, flow stones, cave pearls and scallops which took thousands of years to form.
In order to maintain the cave's ecology, access is restricted. The Malaysian Nature Society organises regular educational and adventure trips to the Dark Caves. I joined the tour of the dark cave and other than the darkness the next thing that its you is the smell!!!I've seen caves in New Zealand and the USA and now Malaysia.. it was interesting and worth looking at even the company of spiders and other insects
The steps all 272 of them (and no I didn't count them I was told by the guide!) have given me yet more exercise and in need of a drink I stopped at a local cafe before heading back into town .I decide to have a late lunch early dinner at a nice Indian restaurant. The waiter is exceptionally friendly and he says he saw me this morning in an area about a 20 minute walk from where I am now! How strange! He seems a nice guy and we chat and he asks to keep in touch! Strange but true.... we swapped email addresses...
After here I then decide to visit Kuala Lumper tower otherwise known as the Menara Tower which is a tall tower in KL. Its construction was finished in 1995. It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the second tallest freestanding tower in the world. The roof of the pod is at 335 m (1,099 ft). The rest of the tower below has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners a panoramic view of the city. Races are organised yearly where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory to observe the crescent moon which marks the beginning of Muslim month of Ramadhan, Syawal and Zulhijjah, to celebrate fasting month of Ramadhan, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidladha. The tower is the landmark of Kuala Lumpur with nearby Petronas Towers.
The touristic building is adorned with designs that reflect the Malaysian Islamic culture. The main lobby of the upper ground floor is decorated with exquisite glass-clad domes that sparkle like giant diamonds
The tower reminds me of the sky tower in Auckland and again at night looks lovely all lit up. I take the lift to the top and happily snap away the views of the city... it looks different being so high! I just need Elvina and a large glass of wine to make it perfect!!!
As part of the promotion at the moment you can choose one of three extra free activities... the first.. a pony ride... me on a pony.... I think not!! The second a F1 simulator race... hmmm I prefer the real thing!! and lastly free entry into the animal zone..... hmmmm this place is just awful!! Especially having visited the sanctuary yesterday in Malacca. Its dark and dingy and the animals look as if they need some TLC!! Its a small venue and I was glad to leave... that's the first time having seen animals locked away have I felt so sad for them!!!
The day as been very full on yet again and I decide to venture back to the hotel.... which still has no internet and its so frustrating!!!!
I lay back and relax..... another alarm call tomorrow!!!!