272 Steps to the Gods

In many cultures and spiritual traditions, mountains are the homes of the Gods. So in theory, it felt like the right way to approach a Hindu shrine- walking slowly, mindfully in steep ascent to the limestone cave dedicated to Lord Murugan.

But in practice it was an altogether different experience. The humidity took my breath away so that I was forced to regularly stop and admire the distant view of the sprawling city of Kuala Lumpur. Still, I was determined to reach the top, ignoring the monkeys who were assessing my fellow tourists for the possibility of thieving open handbags or water bottles held too loosely.

I made it to the top and took some time to explore the natural beauty of the cave whose ceiling opens to the sky, and the creative beauty of the richly coloured shrines to the deities. Tourists mingled with Hindu devotees who were paying their respects to the Gods.

The descent ws easier but on reaching the bottom and saturated with sweat, I thankfully located the coconut seller and quenched my thirst- a fitting end to a spiritual ascent.

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