Wednesday February 8, 2012
Devotees make spiritual journey
KUALA LUMPUR: There was a festive air as throngs of devotees and visitors gathered at Hindu temples around the country for the Thaipusam celebration, despite the blazing sun beating down on their heads.
The festivity started from as early as 4am at most temples as kavadi-carrying devotees made their spiritual journey in honour of Lord Muruga, the popular Hindu deity.
The police closed roads leading to temple grounds which were packed with devotees and visitors, including tourists by 8am.
The scene at Batu Caves here and elsewhere in the country was carnival-like, with chants of vel vel filling the air as thousands flocked to temples to fulfil their vows and offer thanks to Lord Muruga.
In BATU CAVES, N. Appanna, 45, chartered a bus to take 41 family members here to pray for good fortune.
“We come here every year in a chartered bus. And we go up to the temple as a family,” he said, adding that they arrived at about 3.30am.
A relative, Letchumy Andy, 40, added: “It is a time for the family to gather for prayers, with each person bringing an offering.”
In GEORGE TOWN, kavadi bearers and those carrying the paal kudam (milk pots) woke up before sunrise to take their pilgrimage to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani hilltop temple in Waterfall Road.
There was a carnival-like air, spiced with songs singing the praises of Lord Muruga.
The streets leading to the temple were lined with 133 thaneer panthal (refreshment stalls) which offered drinks and food to devotees.
In IPOH, thousands of Hindu devotees brought much festivity with their colourful kavadi as they walked barefoot to the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh, along Jalan Raja Muda Aziz.
Many had joined the procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Sungai Pari, Buntong, since the early morning.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and other state leaders mingled with the crowd of devotees and visitors at the Sri Subramaniar Temple.
In JOHOR BARU, Hindu devotees throng the Arulmigu Thendayuthapani Temple and the Sri Subramaniam Paripalana Saba Temple in Pasir Gudang to offer their prayers to Lord Muruga.
Student S. Devandran, 22, who carried a pot of milk on his head, said it was the first time he took part in the event.
“I wanted to test my strength and belief while praying for better grades in my studies,” he said.
Meanwhile, B. Nisha, 25, prayed to have a happy and fulfilling marriage as she is getting married at the end of the year.