In my previous articles, I showcased the man-made places of interest and cities in Malaysia, despite there being many naturally made wonders in the country. The most famous of them is the temple complex of
consisting of thirty mountain caves. They are huge and ancient, about 40 million years old. In the 19th century, an Indian trader was so impressed by these caves that he built the world's largest statue of the Hindu god Murugan next to it.
, the largest Chinese temple in Malaysia. Despite it's young age (35 years old), the temple is very popular among both the native Chinese and tourists alike...
The temple was built in honor of the Goddess Tian Hou, the mother of heaven, patroness of sailors and fishermen. It is important to note that the structure was built in accordance with feng shui principles:
In front of the temple there is a kind of "crib", dedicated to a religious event:
The three Chinese sages Fu, Lu and Shou symbolize family (happiness), prosperity and longevity. They can be seen in all Chinese temples:
The main goddess sits in the center of the main hall, in whose honor the temple was built. There are two copies on each side:
Notice the orange drums by the entrance:
The name of each person who donates $100 or more is labeled on each separate cell, where it hangs for the whole year. It is regarded as having prayed for a whole year without leaving the building. It is both convenient and inexpensive.
Generally, of course, there are different ways for the population to donate money:
There are also fortunetelling sticks. A person throws the sticks up several times, without pulling them out of the drum, and then pulls out the stick that is raised the higher than the rest:
The number corresponding to its section in the drum is indicated on the opposite end of the stick:
There you will find predictions that can be quite strange. One example was the recommendation to change sexual partner. It is interesting that the Civil Registry Office is situated nearby, and couples often come here to have their fortunes told after their wedding. I'm curious if any of the newlyweds received the fortune that I wrote above?
Gazing anxiously, this woman seems to have also received a strange prediction.
There is a special stone path in the church yard. You can walk on it barefoot, massaging your heels on the way:
An artificial pond with turtles can be found across the street. Although there is no fence, they cannot get out because of the stones:
Here’s the Indian quarter:
The multi-colored assortments of Indian wreaths have always amazed me. It is important not the confuse the intended purpose of the wreath: for birthdays, weddings and funerals.
The spirit of India can be felt on the way to the Batu Caves:
The complex has a lot of caves but the most beautiful is a Temple Cave, also called a light one. You have to overcome 272 steps to get there:
The ascent is not as hard as it seems at first glance, if you are not in a hurry:
The caves are located 8 miles (13 km) from the city. From the top there are mountain view of
This is the entrance:
And here is the Light Cave:
It is called the “light” because of the natural "windows" through which the light falls deep into the mountains. It is very beautiful. The holes in the rock look like eyes gazing sadly downwards:
Many different naturalistic sculptures are set along the walls, following the theme of a faithful Hindus’ life:
The cave has its own temple:
This is a priest:
The sky can be seen at the highest point:
It is like standing inside a huge pit:
There is also a local "shrine" for the faithful here:
Security keeps watch to maintain the law:
Huge and dangerous stones in Batu hang over the visitors:
The amount of dirt and garbage is a distinctive feature of India, couple with the rich culture and colorful traditions. At first glance, I noticed that Malaysia is very clean except when you come to a Hindu temple, where you stumble upon garbage:
What about monkeys? That’s a different story. They are very bold. If you turn around or drop something, then give up all hope:
Look at the woman with dishes on her head. I specifically watched the monkey who followed the woman. As soon as she came close, the monkey stretched his body and brazenly stuck his face into the bucket! It seems to be a monkey custom, where bystanders are checked selectively.
And, finally, a view of the city:
This is the last review on Malaysia. On the way back we stopped in Hong Kong and watched Cathay Pacific employees carry out their duties. Next week I will review the Seychelles.