Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thaipusam in Malaysia - Batu Caves (KL) & Penang

If you are a first-time visitor to Malaysia and happen to be here today, Batu Caves may be where you would want to be to experience a local culture.

Today is a Hindu festival of Thaipusam, celebrated all over the world. Here in Kuala Lumpur, the grandeur takes place at Batu Caves, on the outskirts of the city. Most Malaysian Hindus will be at Batu Caves and other Hindu temples giving thanks and fulfilling vows to the Hindu god, Lord Murugan. Below are photos at Batu Caves plus captions, courtesy of The Star.

Shankar and his family walking out of the temple after fulfilling their vows at Batu Caves. - 20 January, 2011

V. Chockalingam carries the kavadi as he makes his way towards the temple in Batu Caves. - 20 January, 2011

Holy procession: The crowd surrounding the chariot at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Kuala Lumpur. - 20 January, 2011

Hindu devotees making use of the weekend to visit the Sri Subramaniam temple complex ahead of Thaipusam at Batu Caves.

This year, many devotees began paying penance since Sunday. Some carry the kavadi (a decorated structure bearing the image of several deities including Lord Muruga) on their shoulders, some with skewers pierced through their cheeks, and some carry milk pots or pal kodum in the Indian language. It is at Batu Caves where these can be witnessed. An estimated 100,000 devotees are expected at Batu Caves comprising locals and tourists alike.

Just as this post is being put together, the five-tonne silver chariot bearing a statue of Lord Muruga, would have arrived from the Sri Mahamariaman Temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, downtown Kuala Lumpur (somewhere in Chinatown). The chariot left at 12.20am this morning arriving at the Batu Caves temple by noon.

With the even larger crowds today, if you intend to go to Batu Caves, be advised to use public transportation to avoid the anticipated massive traffic congestion.

KTM Komuter is providing additional services on all sectors and shuttle train services between the Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Batu Caves stations from yesterday to tomorrow in conjunction with the festival.

Here's a short video of Thaipusam at Batu Caves last year.

And Batu Caves at its serene best.. preparations leading up to the event.

In Penang, Thaipusam is also celebrated in a big way with over 8000 locals and tourists partaking in this holy event.

Photos and captions courtesy of The Star

1 comment:

Sunshine said...

Wow,I didn't know thaipusam was celebrated in Malaysia too :)
I visited Malaysia two years back and I fell in love with these caves it was sucha different experience :)

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