The stairs leading up to a temple in Malaysia have an eye-catching new colour scheme – but the bright rainbow colours have also attracted some controversy.
The 272 steps to Batu Caves – a famous Hindu temple site close to Kuala Lumpur – have received a rainbow coat of paint that has certainly brightened up the scene for the tourists who flock to the site to explore its incredible limestone caves and historic temples. The colourful new steps are already proving popular with Instagrammers, but the religious site is also a pilgrimage for many Hindus and features a massive golden statue of the god Lord Murugan.
While some people may love the colourful boost, Malaysian newspaper The Star reports that the changes have led to an issue with the country’s heritage authority. According to the report, because the temple at the top of the stairs is a national heritage site, renovations and changes like the staircase painting need proper approval from heritage authorities – which were apparently not obtained for the colourful makeover.
The site was designated as a heritage site back in 2012, and the Jakarta Post reports that when it comes to development or renovation works close to a heritage site, conservation measures must be undertaken. The temple management says the proper rules were followed for the renovations, which included work on all 13 of the temples found within the caves, according to the Post. However, the National Heritage Department will have to look at the alterations, as the new paint job could put the temple in danger of being de-listed.
The renovations have been completed in time for a Hindu ritual held at the temple every 12 years, which will happen today, reports AFP. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people also travel to the caves for the Thaipusam festival in late January or early February.