Thaipusam: Odyssey of Faith

Our journey starts at the oldest Hindu Temple in Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Mahamariamman Temple at the edge of Chinatown along Jalan Tun HS Lee. The temple was founded in 1872 and relocated here in the year 1885.

On the eve of Thaipusam, the statuettes of Lord Murugan and his consorts leave this temple in a silver chariot, weaving through the streets of Kuala Lumpur enroute to Batu Caves some 14 km away. Some 350 kilograms of silver have been used to make this chariot. Devotees by the thousands accompany the Silver Chariot on this journey.

This is the scene at Batu Caves near the banks of the Gombak River. Devotees have their heads shaved and body cleansed. After that they make their way to the hill temple carrying milk pots and kavadis, accompanied by family and friends.

It is a 2kilometre walk from the Gombak River to the Batu Cave. Because of the amount of devotees offering and making penance, it is a journey that could take up to 6 hours.

A 150 metre statue of Lord Murugan stands majestically at the foot of the Hill cave welcoming the devotees. It is a straight 272 steps climb to the top of the hill where the temple is located.

Thaipusam is one of the most extraordinary religious celebration in Malaysia.

For the devotees, this spiritual journey is only made possible by their faith, belief in their gods and support from family and friends.

Video by KSTan, Citizen Journalist

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