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Batu History, Malaysia


Batu, Malaysia - History: Largest gathering of pilgrims was recorded here

The Batu Caves, situated in Malaysia, are one of the main monumental focal points of the Indian settlers, who played a major role in the development of Malaysia. The temple is lodged in a cave, which is nearly 400 feet above the ground level and is over 113 years old. History suggests that the temple was built and dedicated to Karttikeya (Lord Subramaniar).

The Batu Caves, where Batu Temple is located, is nearly 400 million years old. The caves were known to be in a pristine state before the period of 1860 and many of the 18 cave mouths were then used by the Orang Asli, who were the indigenous Besisi people living in Malaysia.  These people used the Batu Caves as transit shelters during the time when they went for hunting leaving their jungle hamlets.

Gradually, the Chinese settlers arrived in the Batu Caves during the period of 1860, as they started excavating the guano to fertilize their vegetable patches. In fact, these Chinese settlers became extremely famous after William Homaday, an American Naturalist, founded the limestone hills in the year of 1878.

It was K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an India trader, who discovered the famous Batu Caves in the late 1800s. Pillai got inspiration from the ‘vel’ shaped structured entrance of the main cave and he dedicated the temple to Lord Munga, whose statue was located within the Batu Caves.

Pillai installed the consecrated statue of Sri Subramania Swamy, also called the murti in 1891. This statue is also known as the Temple Cave nowadays. Pillai is also known to found the famous Shri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur before founding the Batu Caves.  The Thaipusam festival held in the Thai Tamil month (falling in the period of late January and early February) was celebrated in the Batu Caves since then.

The Tamil Race after reaching the Batu Caves brought their cultural heritage, devotion and love for this place. The life style of the Tamils is still reflected around the temple surroundings and the shrine.  The wooden steps present in the Batu Caves were built in the year of 1920. The Cathedral Cave is possibly the best known and the largest cave temples in the Batu Caves. These caves have been one of the most popular Hindu shrines located outside India. The Batu Caves attracted a record 1.5 million pilgrims in 2007 making it the largest gathering in the history.

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