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.
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
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