The National Mosque is Malaysia’s located near the KL Railway Station, along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. The location was chosen by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Hais and completed in 1965 at a cost of more than RM 10 million. The original structure was designed by a three-person team from the Public Works Department – UK architect Howard Ashley, and Malaysians Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim.

The mosque with its very ultra-modern design is situated among 13 hectares of beautiful gardens and is one of the largest in Asia. It has a capacity of 15,000 people and took three years to construct, was opened on Aug 27, 1965

It’s is a uniquely designed building that embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art. It’s design is based upon the Grand Mosque in Mecca with 48 small domes and the main dome has the character of a multi fold “semi-opened blue umbrella” that is the roof which symbolises the 5 pillars of Islam and the 13 states of Malaysia. The 73 meter tall minaret has the shape of a “closed blue umbrella”.

Visitors are advised to observe the rules of dressing and decorum which are listed at the entrance. They need to remove their shoes and must be respectably dressed. Special robes are provided if you are not appropriately attired.

Batu Caves

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Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. When the caves were in a pristine state before 1860, several of the 18 cave mouths were used by the indigenous “Besisi people” (also referred to as Orang Asli) as transit shelters when they went out hunting from their jungle hamlets. Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were found by American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878. Batu Caves is said to have been discovered by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader, in the 1800s. He was inspired by the “vel-shaped” entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga located within the caves.

In 1891, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.

Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Rising almost 100 m above the ground, Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a 100 m-high ceiling, and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors have to climb a steep of 272 steps.