Monday January 21, 2013
Early Thaipusam for 200
GEORGE TOWN: Over 200 devotees trekked their way up to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani hilltop temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga to pay homage to Lord Muruga, a week before the Thaipusam celebrations on Sunday.
Some showed up as early as 7.30am to prepare the milk pots and other essential prayer items before climbing up the flight of 513 steps to the temple.
Devotees were also served a vegetarian lunch after the prayers ended at around 1pm.
Organised by the Malaysia Hindhudharma Mamandram, the annual prayer session was held to offer devotees, especially the elderly, a chance to fulfil their vows without having to be hemmed in by the large crowds expected during Thaipusam.
Its president V. Nandakumar said the special prayers were also organised for the elders to impart to the younger devotees the proper methods of conducting prayers.
“We want to ensure that the young devotees know how to perform prayers in the right way so that this can then be passed on to future generations,” he said.
Spotted among the devotees was housewife P. Premalatha, 42, who took the opportunity to accompany her mother, G. Sarasvati, 64, to the temple.
“With fewer people around, my mother will be able to walk up the steps at her own pace. Her knees are not as strong as they used to be,” said Premalatha, adding that her mother had always wanted to visit the temple since it was completed last year.
The RM9mil hilltop temple, completed in June, is believed to be the largest Lord Muruga temple outside India.