THE Hindu community celebrates Thaipusam, an annual temple festival, on the full moon according to their calendar. Thaipusam falls on Feb 5 this year. The magnificent Thaipusam festival is celebrated in various temples around the nation annually. Here are the top three temples in our country where Thaipusam parades will be held.
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
The most well-known Thaipusam festival in Malaysia takes place at the Batu Caves in Selangor’s Gombak District. Three major caverns and a few smaller cavelets make up these caves. Visitors must ascend 272 rainbow stairs to the cave mouth in order to access the upper cave. The cave is open all year round, but during Thaipusam, when more than a million people converge on Batu Caves to see the procession, its tourist count is at its highest. The second highest Lord Murugan statue in the world is a magnificent landmark at the base of the limestone ledge. The journey to the Batu Caves takes eight hours. Then, with the help of friends and family, devotees would carry their milk pots, followed by kavadi bearers. As they go alongside them while chanting Murugan’s name, drums can be heard filling the atmosphere.
Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor
Waterfall Temple, Penang
One of the most important locations for the annual Thaipusam festival is the Penang Waterfall Temple, also known as Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, which is one of the state’s oldest Hindu temples and is situated in Botanical Garden. The main tower is known as the biggest temple outside of the Lord Murugan Temple in India, despite not being the first Hindu temple in Penang. It is a widespread belief that a sadhu picked the location near the waterfalls for a temple to Murugan.
The location was referred to as thanner malai, which is Tamil for “water hill”, and the god was named Thannermalaian, which means one who lives by the waterfall. Tourists and worshippers must climb 513 steps to get there. To avoid delays during the Thaipusam Festival, when thousands of tourists are anticipated, a separate set of stairs is offered for those coming down from the temple.
Address: 17, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang.
Kallumaalai Temple, Ipoh
The 70-foot-tall Kallumaalai Temple, which was built in 1889, features the nation’s highest tower. The hilltop monastery, which is normally calm and tranquil, comes alive during the holiday season. Every year, Hindus from all over the world travel to see the colourful parade of the kavadi which is accompanied by followers. The streets will be lined with stalls and congested with hundreds of people throughout this time. When you first approach the temple, you will notice sculptures that have been brightly painted and each tell a unique tale. Hindu deities and myths are represented by sculptures all throughout the structure.
Address: 140, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Every temple devoted to Lord Murugan will offer special prayers on this day. Also, don’t worry if you can’t attend the temple festivities this year. Even now, doing prayers at home is regarded as a blessing. Be mindful that this is a religious festival and be ready to be fascinated.