Thaipusam - 20 Januari 2011
Many who take part in the festival prepare themselves by cleansing their bodies through fasting and abstinence, usually observing a vegetarian diet for a certain period of time. On the eve of the festival, the image of Lord Muruga, on a be jewelled silver chariot, is pull along by 2 bulls. As the traditional abode of Lord Muruga is a hill or mountain, in Kuala Lumpur this grand procession culminates at Batu Caves where many devotees carry the image of Lord Muruga up 272 steps to the temple cave.
Many devotees carry 'kavadis' - ornate frames supported by metal spikes and hooks inserted into their bodies- without blood being let. Thousands of fresh coconuts are also smashed along the route of the procession.
Batu Caves, located in Gombak district, is said to be the most popular tourist destination in Selangor. It has never ceased to attract visitors, both local and foreign.
Only 15 km north of Kuala Lumpur, the caves consist of three main caves and a number of smaller ones. Visitors could reach the top cave via the 272 steps built specially to scale the steep, jagged face of the limestone outcrop.
During the Thaipusam festival, Batu Caves hosts the largest gathering of Hindu devotees in Malaysia. Thaipusam is a religious festival where Hindus pay annual homage to Lord Muruga. The highlight of this celebration is the kavadi procession. Close to 800,000 people throng Batu Caves for this celebration.