The Batu Caves temple located in Gombak is one of the most important and sacred religious sites in the world, with multiple shrines dedicated to Hindu deities built entirely on a 400-million year old limestone hill.
Despite its astounding structure and sanctity, the focal point of the temple is the 42.7 metre (140 ft) statue of Lord Murugan, made from 350 tonnes of steel bars, 1550 cubic metres of concrete and 300 litres of gold paint. Devotee or not, visitors cannot help but stand in awe of the Lord’s mighty stance.
However, as of late April this year, netizens noticed a strange development in the statue. At first, an oval-shaped, dark clump began forming below the Lord’s hand, resembling a stone or simply an overgrowth of mould.
@rakesh721999 #batumalaimurugan #batu #batucaves #issues #muruganthunai #batumalaimurugan #fyp #beehives #murugan ♬ original sound – user5739682283090 – rakesh
By May, it was clear that the unsightly “mystery item” was in fact a beehive.
While the temple is adored and commended for its oneness with nature, local devotees have noted how the swelling hive can lead to danger and is a lot larger than it appears against Lord Murugan’s towering height.
Apparently, this is not the first time a beehive has nested onto the statue. Many such instances have occurred in the past but were swiftly taken care of by authorities and therefore did not garner much attention.
@haimasevent1980Batu Caves .bees moving.♬ original sound – Jayakumar
This time, netizens fear that the large hive may fall and cause harm to visitors, even if left unprovoked, keeping in mind the children and the elderly who frequent the temple for weekly prayers.
From a religious stance, the matter seems more miraculous than dangerous, and some local Indians have argued that the placement of the hive, enveloped by the Lord’s hand, may bear some form of significance.
Lord Murugan holds great importance in Hindu culture, particularly to Tamil Hindus. Various iterations of His life are depicted in Hindu scriptures, primarily as the son of Shivan and Parvati.
Devotees also noted that reaping natural honey from the hand of a venerated deity may serve as a rare blessing to devotees; nevertheless, many countered the statements saying that it is not worth risking the wellbeing of visitors and the statue itself, as the presence and overall weight of the hive may strip the paint.
Additionally, others asserted that the entirety of the statue seems to have suffered a lack of maintenance and criticised the temple’s management for this, alleging that the statue is not cleaned regularly and is simply used as a tourist attraction.
At the time of writing, the Batu Caves committee has not addressed the matter.