Unveiling the Batu Caves: 400 Million Years of History

this is a picture of the grotto batu cave

Batu Caves is also known as the ‘Hill for Lord Muruga’ or ‘Tenth Caves.’ And there are six essential temples in India and four more in Malaysia.

History of Batu Caves

Did you know that the limestone that was formed in the cavern is nearly 400 million years old? Some of the entryways of the grottoes were used as houses by the tribe of Orang Asli. In early 1860, the Chinese colonists started guano for fertilizing their vegetable insufficiency. But they became famous only after the limestone hills were seen by the experts Syers and Daly along with William Hornaday (American Naturalist) in the year 1878.

The history started in 1891 when the Indian trader Mr. K. Thamboosamy Pillai.  He was motivated by the ‘vel-shaped entryway of the main caverns and then decided to dedicate a temple to the Lord Muruga within grottos.

He sent his close colleagues to research for the perfect appropriates spot for worshipping of Lord Sri Murugan. Since then, the powerful successor of the immigrants from Tamil Nadu, Kayarohanam Thamboosamy Pillai installed the statue of Shri Subramanian Swamy (Lord Murugan) in the 4000 feet high cave, which is at present known as ‘Temple Cave.’  And from that year 1982, the Thaipusam festival which usually comes in late Jan or Feb (Tamil month of Thai) has been felicitated there as the yearly fest of Batu Grottos.


It is the tallest Lord Muruga sculpture in the world with the height of 42.7 meters (140 feet) that was made public in Jan 2006. It took three years to construct, and the statue is set outside the caves. Its temple includes three main grottos and a few of small sizes. The biggest one is known as ‘Temple Cave ‘or ‘Cathedral Cave.’

The travelers had to climb 272 steps to reach there. The value of sculpture is nearly 24 million rupees which are made of 1550 cubic meters of concrete, 300 liters of gold paint and 250 tonnes of steel bars acquired from the Thailand.

Shri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam has an incredible history behind this.K. Pillai was born in 1850 in Singapore. He did his education at Raffles Institute and became famous for his work as an Assistant and Interpreter with the senior attorney, JG Davidson. His work took him to Kuala Lumpur.

this is an image of the batu caves and its history

During his work, he found that multitude of South Indian people has been living in a nearby state of Selangor. Being a Hindu descendant, he decides to construct a small worship temple for the ‘Mariamman.’ He then constructed it at the Selangor river bank.

In the year 1875, the railway activities of Kuala Lumpur offered a location for worshipping Mr. K. Thambpoosamy because they wanted an enlargement of their goods yard. A small ‘Attap’ temple was constructed in Jalan Bandar with the allowance of Sultan Selangor, and he separated the temple area as ‘Land Of Indian People.’


Since Thamboosamy was an idealistic man, so in the year 1888 with the support from the local community (who donated charity for the project), he transformed the temple into a brick building. He becomes the initial founder of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Kuala Lumpur.

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