Happy happy Deepavali, Pirates 🍀
A few weeks ago was the Hindu celebration, Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, this is an official holiday here in Malaysia, as in many Asian countries and others non Asian like Fiji, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, along others.
Every year the date changes on the Gregorian Calendar, as this is determined by the Hindu Lunar Calendar, and with these variations, we have also a few legends about the origins of Deepavali or Diwali. My favourite version is the one that honours Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of prosperity. So here is a good chance for you to celebrate prosperity on your life today, many more travels and treasures coming ahead kids ❤
I am so excited to share with you a bit of my special day and my week too, I was invited by my Malay teachers to go to an Indian Family’s house for an amazing big feast.
As my teachers said, if other nationality of Malaysians invite you to their house it is a more formal event, by the other hand, if an Indian Malay invites you, you can bring the whole family, your friends, the parrot or even your longboard 😂. Specially during Deepavali, which a great time for family and friends catch up while enjoying good food and lovely companionship.
And so he did, he invited this pirate here, I went together with his family and two other Filipina friends that were visiting town, that was my chance to speak a little bit of Tagalog, damn, my Malay is practically 0 yet 😜There were lots of Chinese Malays, Malay Malays, Japanese Malay, the foreign Malays (me lol) and of course Indian Malays too, that is the real meaning of Deepavali, having loved people together Celebrating Life, happiness, prosperity and good food, that cheffie here was lucky enough to learn some <3
I was really dreaming with this moment for more than a month, and I knew it would be another jewel that I just about to find on my Malaysian days… ops, as I say, some times the treasures they find me, and this time was not different ❤ I could notice clay lamps lite on the houses during the whole night, as the Festival of lights; the flames represent the victory of the good over the evil forces. Lots of firework and firecrackers were sparkled all over; the intention of the noise is to scare the bad spirits away.
Another amazing experience was to see the beautiful draws and Mandalas made with coloured rice on the floors, they are called Kolam, we can spot them on malls and on almost every Indian house. I first saw them when I accidentally stopped by the Malaysian Tourism Consul, in KL downtown, when I was looking for new activities, incredibly that was just on the corner of where I was living before moving to my “HQ” in Bangsar, omg, I just love this area too.
It was also the first time that I tried “murukku”, a snack made with deep fat fried rice noodles and flavoured with Indian spices, to be honest I was “flerting” the experience of eating murukku for a while, I remember my granny and her sisters preparing something like that for me, my brothers and my cousins, that is really a special memory that passed away with the families’ matriarchal, nobody learnt the recipe…
Together with enjoying a big catch up with friends and family “poured” with food and happiness, Diwali is also a great time to visit Hindu temples, you can go to Little India, buy souvenirs while delighting yourself with authentic Hindu and Tamal cuisine, take the chance to show gratitude and pray for everyday blessings xxx.
My best decision was to finally visit the Batu Caves, it was on my list of places to see in Kuala Lumpur for a long time, thinking that Deepavali would be happening in a few days, I took the weekend and “hit the road” to finally look for new adventures, that was even more special knowing that this is another place for worshiping the Hindu Gods and Goddess. I was postponing this tour for a little while, and no better moment than now for this visit.
The Batu Caves are located on a stunning limestone hill in Gombak, Selagor, Malasia, just a few kilometers of Kuala Lumpur downtown and definitely its a really worth the visit. Soon after the gate you can see a big statue of Hanuman, the monkey God at the entrance of Ramayana Cave, I skipped this one as it was a bit late and I was really looking forward to see the Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave. The villa cave is on the top of 272 step stairs just after passing by the massive golden statue of Lord Murugan, the God of War, son of Parvati and Shiva, and brother of Ganesha, this is the tallest statue for this God in the planet, and I loved to research more about all these Gods to write this story 😉
The very steep stairs look way harder than it is, if you go on your pace, you will get distracted with lots other funky moneys hanging around the area and trying to steal some food from unattended tourists, they will catch your belongs if you are not careful enough, some times they chill eating any leftovers that the got from the bins, funny monkeys 😛 Take your time and rest on the way up to admire the view, that was my first insight when I was going up, you will not regret it, and it will be easier to reach the top anyway.
The main cave is simply amazing, now I could understand why it is also called the Temple Cave, there a real temple inside and I was lucky to presence a Hare Krishna ritual, the perfume of incense and the mantras playing inside were making the experience even more “majikal”. You need to take out your shoes to enter the temple and I hope you can be lucky to witness a ritual there too. I spent a good time, taking pictures and doing my little gratitude ritual.
On the way back I stopped by to see the Dark Caves, on this one you can make a guided tour and hopefully see the rarest spider in the world, the Trapdoor Spider, it is just half way on the stairs, and as I mentioned before, I was more excited to visit the Cathedral Cave, but I was caught a bit tired and I decide to leave both, the Dark Cave and Ramayana Cave for another visit I also missed to see the interior of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple and Sri Ganesar Kortumalaj Temple. That’s a great reason to come back and devote gratitude in another occasion ❤
Mission finally done, now I was just waiting for Deepavali night and the rest you guys know the story 😉 if you want see a more interactive view of the Batu Caves, all temples just head to their official website, it will not disappoint you ❤
How to get there:
Just head to KL Sentral station and take the Komuter train that leaves every hour, if you are spending some time in KL it worth to get the touch n’ go card which is more practical to move around town and will cost you slightly cheaper than if you pay it with cash. RM 2.30 instead of RM2.60
My friends took a grab and arrived before me, it costs around RM35 😉
Where to eat:
Just head to any restaurant and choose the banana leaf meal and get yourself fully immersed in the Malay and Hindu culture and eat with your hands, each banana leaf meal will cost you RM 8.00
You can book rock-climbing activities with your local agent.