Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Batu Caves, Malaysia

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The Batu Caves are a series of spectacular 400 million year old chambers beneath limestone

hills just 30 minutes north of Kuala Lumpur. At the mouth of the cave complex, an enormous

gold statue of Lord Murugan stands guard; at almost 43 meters in height, it is the world's

largest statue of this beloved Hindu deity. Visitors access the caves via an imposing

staircase of 272 steps, each one individually numbered.

Once inside the caves, beneath the 100 meter cathedral-like ceilings, the atmosphere takes

on an intensely spiritual quality, as worshipers pay their respects at the important Hindu

shrines and temples. Below the temple cave, the dark cave is home to stunning rock formations

and a number of animal species that are unique to the area. In the interests of conservation,

entry to this relatively untouched cave complex is restricted. Elsewhere around the caves,

bird life, fruit bats, spiders and Macaque monkeys are to be seen. The monkeys however,

should be avoided as they can bite and will steal food and other items from unsuspecting

tourists.

The Batu Caves attracts visitors throughout the year, particularly during the annual Thaipusam

festival when the temple complex - the most popular outside India - becomes the focal

point for over 1.5 million pilgrims. In recent years the caves and surrounding hills have

become the centre for Malaysian rock climbing and the site offers over 160 routes of various

grades.

The Description of Batu Caves, Malaysia