QuickCheck: Were the 272 steps going up Batu Caves originally made of wood?

THE first Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves was celebrated in 1892 and it continues to this day attracting close to a million visitors every year. Devotees following the procession now have to walk up 272 concrete steps to reach the cave. Is it true that the stairs leading up to Batu Caves used to be made out of wood?



In 1920, 272 wooden steps were installed into the trail leading up to Batu Caves. Prior to that, devotees had to scale the hill to reach the temple within the cave.

Seeing that many would be carrying heavy kavadis and milk offerings, the decision back then was made to install the steps.

As wood does not last long, especially if it is subjected to Malaysia's tropical climate as well as the tens of thousands (if not millions) of footsteps every time Thaipusam came around, the decision was made to upgrade the steps to concrete in the 1930s.

These were ready by 1940 and the same steps have been part of the temple ever since.

Batu Caves was first promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillay, an Indian Tamil trader who had also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur, after he installed the first consecrated statue (or murti) there in 1891.

Batu Caves is made up of several caves with the largest and most famous one being the Temple Cave as it houses several Hindu shrines.


1. http://murugan.org/temples/batumalai.htm

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