Built in 1891, Batu Caves is not only the home to the temple of our beloved Lord Murugan but also a marvel that attracts people from all walks of life. It is as if the Gods themselves came down to build this magnificent temple in a 400 million-year-old cave.
The Cave Before the Temple
Batu Caves were pristine before 1860, except for some of the cave mouths that were used by the indigenous Besisi people as transit shelters when they went out hunting. By 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano to fertilise their vegetable patches. However, the caves only became famous after the limestone hills were discovered by William T. Hornaday, an American taxidermist of the United States National Museum in Washington and the first director of the New York Zoological Park (better known today as the Bronx Zoo).
READ: Lord Murugan, the God of Tamil!
Thamboosamy Pillai, the Indian Merchant
The influential merchant K. Thamboosamy Pillai, who also founded the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Kuala Lumpur, sent his close associates, Sri Thiruvengadam Pillai, and Sri Kanthapa Thevar to look for an ideal and suitable place of worship for Lord Sri Murugan.
In 1891, Thamboosamy, a descendant of Indian immigrants from Tamil Nadu, installed the ‘deity of Lord Murugan in the 400 ft high temple Cave’.
It is said Thamboosamy was inspired to build the temple at Batu Caves when he noticed the mouth of the cave strongly resembled a ‘vel’ - the head of Lord Murugan’s celestial spear.
More than 1 Million Devotees at Thaipusam Celebration
The first Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves was celebrated in 1982 – the festivities continue to this day, attracting over a 1 million devotees every year. Devotees gather to celebrate the day when Lord Murugan received his divine vel from the goddess Parvati. The temple is filled with colour and scent of incense, while devotees carry majestic Kavadi and milk offerings to Lord Murugan.
LEARN: What Is Thaipusam?
Once it was 272 Wooden Steps
Devotees initially had to climb 272 wooden steps up to the Temple Cave. The wooden steps, that were built in 1920, have since been replaced by concrete steps. In August 2018, the steps were painted in gorgeous colours, with each set of steps painted in a different range of shades.
The Largest Lord Murugan Statue in the World
In January 2006, the now-iconic Murugan statue was unveiled. Standing at 42.7m high, it is the world's tallest statue of Murugan and third tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world, after the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Indonesia and Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.
FIND OUT: How to Receive Lord Murugan's Blessings
The statue is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighbouring Thailand. This Murugan statue is landmark that attracts visitors from the world over to Batu Caves.
Batu Caves is also a fascinating location that caters to non-religious visitors. If you wish to explore the cave’s natural labyrinths, head to the Dark Cave for some amateur spelunking tours or try out some rock climbing at the back of the mountain.
Thu Jan 13 2022
MIC President Says Hindus Should be 'Thankful' to Putrajaya for Thaipusam SOPs
Hindus in the country should be "grateful and thankful" to the government over the flexibility given in celebrating Thaipusam, MIC president SA Vigneswaran has said.
Murugan & His Hill Temples, What's So Special About Hills?
There is a reason why most Murugan temples are built on top of mountains or hills...
The Significance of the Seval Kodi to Lord Murugan
Why did Lord Murugan take the peacock as his vehicle and the rooster on his banner?
The History Behind Penang Waterfall Hill Temple
Its hilltop location is one of the main destinations of devotees during the annual Thaipusam festival
Did You Know: Thaipusam is a Grand Celebration in Mauritius
Thaipoosam Cavadee, the local name for Thaipusam, is one of the most spectacular religious festivals in Mauritius and is mainly celebrated by Tamils in the country.
Penang Thaipusam: Hundreds Converge To Observe Golden & Silver Chariots Under Cops' Watchful Eyes
A slight drizzle could not keep hundreds of Penangites from feasting their eyes on the procession of the golden and silver chariots this morning.
Kavadi Makers Suffer Tens of Thousands in Losses from Putrajaya's Kavadi Ban
Putrajaya's eleventh-hour cancellation of kavadi bearing for Thaipusam has cost kavadi makers losses amounting to tens of thousands of ringgit, a report has said.
Thaipusam: A Quick Look At the SOPs
Here's a quick look at the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set for the Thaipusam celebrations tomorrow.
Bogar and His Navapashanam: The Secret to Immortality?
Bogar was a legendary South Indian siddhar (a mystic or yogi). He was said to have miraculous powers.
Why Is Arumugan Worshipped Only in South India?
Arumugan is a vital part of South India, where He had protected its people, gave them knowledge and loved them. He is still their protector, their teacher and their beloved.
Television Actors Who Went From Reel To Real Life Couples!
These are some of the actors who fell in love after playing the lead pair in popular serials...
Metaverse: What is it and Why it's Important
Ever wondered what the Metaverse is? This quick article may help shed some light on this rapidly developing technology and its benefits.
Man Who Threw Lord Ganesha Idol into Dustbin Fined RM2,500
A restaurant assistant has been fined RM2,500 for throwing a decorative statue of Lord Ganesha into a dustbin, in Taman Scientex, in Senai, Johor. Gabriele Jungkak anak Steward will have to serve three months in jail if he fails to pay the fine.
Stay Safe: A Quick Guide to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The country is currently experiencing clusters of hand, food, and mouth disease. Here's a quick guide to help you keep your family safe from the illness.
Veteran Actor-Filmmaker T.Rajendar Hospitalised!
Let's wish the legendary actor a speedy recovery!
This Eight-Year-Old Holds Two World Records For Identifying Flags!
Anjanaa Rhea Ganeson is only eight, but she holds two world records for identifying the most number of flags in the shortest time.
Five Kollywood Films That Nearly Predicted The Future!
Check out these Kollywood movies that come with their own Nostradamus touch:
'Vanakam Doctor’ Sheds Light On Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) This Week!
If you have further doubts regarding the featured topic, submit your question(s) here...
Hi Genius: 10 Science Facts to Make you Sound Smarter than the Rest
So you love science? Here are 10 interesting science facts that you may want to know, so that you can stand out as a genius in your next family/friends gathering.
Superstar Rajinikanth To Become India's Highest Paid Actor With Massive Remuneration!
It is reported that actor Rajinikanth will receive a whopping remuneration for his next film which exceeds the salary of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shahrukh Khan...