Saturday, April 27, 2013

Malaysia Diaries - Batu Caves and the city of Kuala Lumpur

     After a successful Day 1 in the Kuala Lumpur city, we woke up determined to explore the rest of the city. I dressed up in a red top inspired by the city that donned the color red - be it in the Chinese temples, the Chinese lanterns, the mall decorations, restaurants, kebayas and the list goes on.

6. Batu Caves

How to get there:
Train is best option if you do not have a car to drive around the city. We took a taxi to the KL Sentral Railway Station to board the KTM Komuter train to Batu Caves. There are trains to and fro Batu Caves every 15 minutes between 6 AM till 11:30 PM. You could buy a ticket online or pick it up at the station itself for as cheap as 4 RM.

Batu Caves is one of the most distinctive site to visit in Kuala Lumpur - easily accessible by trains. You need to climb 272 steps to get to the awe-inspiring natural caves! 272 steps!! Yes, It almost gave me cardiac stress!! Needless to say the climbing of steps was worth the effort as the mesmerizing beauty of the natural caverns blew me away. The cave houses the world's tallest Murugan statue - the 140ft high statue took almost 3 years to construct and was unveiled in the year 2006.

Lord Murugan and the 272 Steps

Inside the Caves

7. Masjid Negara - The National Mosque of Malaysia

Our next destination was Masjid Negara (at a walkable distance from the KL Sentral Station). We were given purple colored wardrobes - abaya - as we entered the mosque. A walk inside the mosque is a feeling out of this world - it almost felt like I was on my Haj pilgrimage. The mosque has a capacity of accommodating 15000 people. The minaret is about 70 mtrs high and has 16 pointed star shaped roof opening up like an umbrella. The mosque is painted in blue/turquoise blue and white - some respite from the 'red' color.

Masjid Negara

Interiors of the mosque

Tourists clad in purple abaya

8. Islamic Arts Museum

Located adjacent to the Masjid Negara is the Islamic Arts Museum,  a source centre for Islamic studies and beautiful showpiece for the best artisanship with Islamic books, replicas of Islamic architectural collections, traveling exhibitions and a gift shop for those who would love to adore their home with Islamic art and crafts. What struck me were the many unique inverted domes built inside the museum and the lovely roof carvings - like the one you will see in the photos below.

A replica

Inverted Dome

The holy Quran

Inverted Dome

9. Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower

Menara KL Tower I am told is the 6th tallest communication tower in the world - with a base for experiences including bungee jumping, Adventure, Culture, Food and Nature. Most importantly, I loved the breath-taking view of the Kuala Lumpur Skyline at about 270 mtrs above the ground from its observatory deck - an experience I will cherish all my life.

Menara KL Tower

KL Skyline view from the Menara Tower

10. Putrajaya

Putrajaya is the administrative capital of Malaysia taking over from the city of Kuala Lumpur and comes across as a modern city with progressive infrastructure and is also a hub for Technology companies. The streets are elegantly designed with a European feel, and the government buildings are a blend of modern cum Islamic architecture.

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