How to Visit Batu Caves

How to Visit Batu Caves - Kuala Lumpur's Top Destination

If there is one thing I’d recommend to do in Kuala Lumpur, it’s visit the Batu Caves. Seeing the 140 feet high statue of the Hindu God of War Lord Murugan, with 272 multicoloured steps behind him is a sight to behold. It’s time to tie those laces and start climbing. Just watch out for monkeys on the way.

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
The magnificent view that awaits at Batu Caves

Batu Caves were found in 1890 by a prominent Indian Tamil trader, K. Thamboosamy Pillay. He felt that the entrance to the caves resembled the shape of a ‘Vel’; a divine spear in Hindu Mythology used to defeat evil forces. The shape is also seen in seen the spear which Murugan holds at the foot of the stairs. In 1920 a wooden staircase was built to reach the entrance. It’s hard to imagine how people reached the entrance prior to this, but the Hindu Thaipusam festival has been celebrated here every year since 1892.

Batu Caves Colour Steps
The gorgeous colourful steps

Inside Batu it’s not a dimly lit place full of guano (bat poop) that you might expect. There’s a huge hall with various Hindu deities and two temples which you’re able to explore at your leisure. Deep inside, a further staircase leads to a gaping crack in the ceiling of the cave. Light blasts through as pigeons and bats circle in the air. It’s a great place to relax for a while before descending the colourful staircase and returning to the real world.

Large Hindu cave complex
Inside Batu Cave Temple

Although a Hindu place of worship, it’s possible for anyone to visit. 

Here’s how to get to Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur


The easiest way is to use the app Grab to book a taxi (which works the same as Uber). The cost is only RM$20 one way and the journey will take 15-20 minutes. Easy!

Hindu Mythology Figures
Hindu Mythology Figures

Another option is via public train. This is cheaper than Grab, but will take a lot longer. We used the KTM Komuter train for our return journey (we didn’t have internet data to book a Grab taxi) and it ended up taking three hours to get back to our hostel. Yes, you did read that correctly. THREE HOURS!!

Kuala Lumpur has many transport services, but it’s the KTM train you need. Sadly it doesn’t run frequently and we arrived just after one had departed, so had to wait an hour for the next one. There were then problems with the service.

Colourful Hindu Temple
A Hindu Temple inside the cave

The KTM Komuter train departs from KL Sentral station roughly once an hour (see the up to date times here). It travels along the red line and Batu Caves is the last stop. If your accommodation is closer to another stop on the red line, you can of course get the KTM Komuter train service from there. If you aren’t staying near a station on the red line, you can easily travel to KL Sentral via a connecting light rail or underground train. See the map here:

Kuala Lumpur Transport Map
Kuala Lumpur Transport Map for Batu Caves

The cost of the KTM Komuter train to Batu Caves is just RM$2.20. The journey takes 35 minutes.

Kuala Lumpur KTM Komuter Train Timetable
Kuala Lumpur KTM Komuter Train Timetable for Batu Caves

How to buy Tickets for the train to Batu Caves
To buy tickets use the touch screen kiosks at a station and select Batu Caves as your destination. The cost will be between RM$1.9 and RM$2.20 for a cash token. This gives you one ride. Touch the token on the scanner as you enter and then placed in a slot at the turnstyle as you leave.

Returning to Kuala Lumpur is the same as going, just in reverse. If you don’t have an internet service on your phone, then you might end up taking a Grab taxi there and the KTM train back.

Whether travelling by KTM or Grab taxi, it’s a very cheap journey.

Entry fee for Batu Caves

As it is a place of worship, entry is free.

Hindu Peackock Statue

What to wear to Batu Caves

Respect is needed, so dress sensibly. That means clothes that cover the shoulders and shorts that at the very least cover the knees. It was cringe worthy how much ‘white girl ass’ hanging out of denim pants. If this applies to you, you’re made to pay for a sarong.

Is there anything anything else to see?

There used to be tours to the ‘Dark Caves’ which lasted three hours and took you deep inside Batu. In addition, there was also a 45 minute Education Tour. Sadly, as of September 2019, they are both shut for the foreseeable future.

There is an aviary which costs RM$7 to enter and it looks in a very poor and neglected condition. Remember animals should be in the wild, not trapped under nets to gawp at. Do the right thing and don’t visit!

Light entering cave ceiling
The sky cracking through the roof of the cave


At the base of the steps is a further temple which I highly advise you to explore. The intricate details on the statues and the vivid colours are a truly beautiful sight.

Colourful Hindu Temple
Inside Batu Temple at the base of the cave

Finally, the Ramayna Cave is RM$5 to enter. This is near the train station. As you exit and come to the car park, you need to walk back on yourself by the Hanuman statue (which looks like a monkey). Although Ramayna Cave is very small, you can see a large and colourful Hindu statue under a cascading waterfall. Sadly at the time of our visit, most of this area was under renovation. Hanuman was covered up like a mummy in bandages.

Places to eat

There are plenty of food stands and restaurants bear the base of the steps. Vegetarians can rejoice as the food is animal free!

How long to spend at Batu Caves

The 272 steps are actually a lot easier to climb than I expected. Spread out nicely, you can stop and rest as much as you like. Just don’t get too close to the long tailed Macaque monkeys that run up and down. They’ll have your water and camera if you’re not careful!

One of the Hindu statues on the ascent

Best time of day to visit

Batu Caves are open from 6:30AM to 8:30PM. If you arrive anytime before 8:30AM (but the earlier the better) you’ll have most of the site to yourself. By 10:00AM it’s a barrage of tripods, selfie sticks and big skirts twirling for Instagram photos on the colourful steps. It certainly takes the shine off the whole experience.

Although we didn’t visit later in the day, I believe when the sun starts to go down it once again quietens down.

Other useful info

Bring bug spray. There were a surprising number of insects biting us when we entered.

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2 thoughts on “How to Visit Batu Caves”

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks for reaching out.
      There is a hand rail on the steps going up to and also down to the entrance. I’ve just looked back at my pictures of the inside. There’s handrails on the steps inside too! It is quite wide open inside, so there’s only handrails on the steps, rather than throughout the entire area.

      Enjoy your travels 🙂

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