sign in a cave in Laos

1 February 2012

Lower Ganesh or Ramayana Cave, Batu Caves

Lower Ganesh is part of the Ganesh System at Batu Caves. This system is the most extensive and with the greatest vertical range at Batu Caves.

Lower Ganesh is now called Ramayana Cave. It is at ground level, the entrance is behind the large green statue of Hanuman and the gate to Batu Caves station.

When I first visited in June 1991 it was a 'wild cave'. Although it was gated one could squeeze through and was used by people for things like smoking and courting couples, and to pray for lucky numbers, hence there were a couple of altars.
1992 view of the entrance
2010 view

Inside there were no paths at that time. A climb up at the back leads to Upper Ganesh Cave. The main chamber is quite large and you can climb up to 2 separate chambers. There is a big pillar at the top.

On my next visit in May 1993 we found the cave was being fitted out as a temple. The outside gate was still the same. Inside was full of statues being made and painted. And parts of the cave wall had been painted blue for background scenes.

The place was all lit up and looked so different.

We went back in Sept and the workmen let us in. There were 15-20 scenes from the Ramayana, but most of the statues were unpainted. One was huge, a reclining figure. These are the 1993 and 2012 photos -

By 1993 the cave was fitted out with electric lighting, paths and stairs and filled with brightly coloured statues, and called Ramayana Cave. According to the plaque, the cave was opened in 1995.

I didn't make any more notes until 2001 when the cave was closed. It was still closed in 2004. In 2010 I noticed it was open and there was a man selling tickets at the entrance.

On my most recent visit on 29 Jan 2012 I noticed the gate was open and people were going in so I followed. The cave was brightly lit and the statues all very colourful.

There was a JCB parked in the cave.

Steps lead up to the back chamber

In this back chamber there is now a staircase under construction up to the pillar at the top.

I'm not sure what the steel structure is that runs around the cave above the tableau, almost looks like a monorail support

Looking towards the entrance
This passage leads on and is used as a dump, the passage is nicely carved

When I left the gate was closed, so I had been lucky as it was probably only opened temporarily by the workmen.

The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic from the Hindu faith. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, and features ideal characters such as ideal father, servant etc.

The Ramayana Cave presents a concise but comprehensive narration of Lord Rama's history.

Lower Ganesh register number Sgr 01/07

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission