When you’re at Batu Caves…
1. The huge golden statue is the famous Hindu god, Lord Murugan. It is at 42.7 meters and took 3 years to construct and was unveiled in 2006. It is the tallest office Kuala Lumpur statue in the world.
2. ‘Batu’ means ‘stone’. ‘Batu Caves’ means ‘stone caves’.
3. An Indian trader was inspired by the ‘spear’-shaped entrance of the main cave. The spear is the divine weapon of Lord Murugan. Apparently, he saw that the entrance of the main cave was shaped like a spear- to see that, you might need to stretch your imagination a little.
4. It is an excruciating 272-steps climb to the top of the stairs.
When you’re at Guan Di Temple…
1. Also known as the Kwong Siew Association temple, which is a clan association, referring to a gathering of Chinese immigrants who had come from the same province in China. Think of it as a club for people whose ancestors came from the same area, or a place where people with the same family name gather.
2. At the main entrance arch, look up and you will see a red fish right in the middle of the entrance arch. Strain your eyes and you will see that the fish is actually spouting water from its mouth and balancing a giant pearl. The fish is a symbol of prosperity in Chinese culture. This is because the word for fish in Chinese, which is ‘yu’, sounds like the word for riches or abundance.
3. At the door there are two fierce looking Chinese soldiers- they are the guardians of the door and they protect the temple from demons. Each of them holds a weapon and a pearl.
4. There are also two stone lions. They are the Chinese guardian lions, and their job is also to protect the temple from demons. Look carefully at both and you will see that they actually strike very different poses. Guardian lions are always made in pairs- one female and one male. The one on the left is the female guardian lion, and she has a cub in her paws, representing the circle of life. The one on the right is the male guardian lion, and he has a paw on a globe to represent his feeling the ‘pulse of the earth’. Symbolically, the female guards those who live inside, and the male guards the structure of the temple. And if you look closely, you can see a pearl in their mouths.
5. On the top of the door with the blue frame, you will see 4 big Chinese words that mean Kwong Siew Association, and you read from right to left. Strain your eyes on the six little characters on each side. They tell you the name of the writer and when it was written.
6. Every year, a divine sword is brought out so that worshippers can touch and lift this very heavy 59-kilogramme weapon for good luck and protection. The sword is said to have special powers, and if you lift it three times, you will be protected. Provided if you have a pure and righteous heart.