Here is another post that was initially posted on my old blog, before I started this one. It’s been in my draft folder for ages! We visited Taiping Zoo in June 2012 with Leela, her grandson Tejas and her husband whom we call uncle. It was a wonderful road trip with great stops to see animals, plants, caves and temples. These photos are from uncle’s camera that he shared with me.
Our first time on Broga Hill turned out to be an enjoyable experience. We started our climb shortly after sunrise. Unlike other hills we’ve been in Malaysia, Broga has grassy slopes and a ‘proper trail.’ The trail had muddy looking hard soil for the most part of the trail, some areas were slippery, though, (thanks to the good weather and no rain in the past 2-3 days). It was a short, easy hike and we felt safe as it was like an open field of grass and there were many locals, some with children ascending and descending from the hill. Broga hill hike was a different experience for us as its geographical features were completely different than the ones we’ve been in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s landscape include forests, beaches and limestone hills. The states in the north of the country have most limestone hills. One of the mountains on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a famous landmark named, Batu Caves. When you approach the hill via road, you’ll see the gold statue of Hindu God Murugan, a 140 ft high idol from afar. Several statues of different Hindu God’s can be found near the hill and inside the cave. Access to the cave temple is by climbing the hill. Visitors and worshipers alike, takes the two hundred, steep steps, that leads to the temple to enter it. Batu Cave has been a place of worship for Hindu’s since late 18th century. Every year, the annual Hindu religious festival, Thaipusam, is held in the cave temple. Large crowds of worshippers and spectators visit the temple on that particular day. The rest of the year it’s usually, comparatively small number of tourists, and fewer worshipers. When I lived in KL between 2006-2013, I visited the cave many times, whenever family and friends are visiting.
At the beginning of 2010, while we were on the way to Ipoh, we found Mekprasit Temple by chance as we stopped for a bite. It is an old heritage temple; a mix of Indian, Thai and Siamese culture and heritage with Hindu and Buddhist religious background. Inside the temple, there were hundreds of Buddha images, each with a different expression. Many different Buddha statues and large paintings of Buddha exists within the temple building and compound.
It was uncle’s and Leela’s idea to drive to Perak, the second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia. The initial plan was to drive up towards Ipoh city and visit the famous Kek Look Teng Temple and Perak Tong Temple. Those temples are inside a cave, so first, we need to find the limestone hill where its build. Unfortunately, we could not locate the hill, where Look Teng Temple is situated. However, we found the Perak Tong Temple, had a look at it and then decided to visit the nearby town, Taiping. We had lunch in Taiping and made a stop at Taiping Zoo and at the Lake Gardens too.