For 2024, temple organisers expect massive turnout similar to last year’s Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves and Ipoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — As the vibrant celebration of Thaipusam approaches, Batu Caves Hindu Temple and Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh are gearing up for a grand celebration this Thursday.

The anticipation is high, with temple organisers expecting a massive turnout of devotees and tourists similar to last year, when Thaipusam fell on February 5.

Thaipusam, a significant Hindu festival, is renowned for the vibrant and awe-inspiring processions featuring devotees carrying various religious offerings and symbolic structures to worship Lord Murugan.

Batu Caves

Batu Caves Hindu Temple committee chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah said that he is anticipating a huge gathering of devotees and tourists, similar to last year’s turnout of 1.6 million.

Despite the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, he expects a larger crowd this year, especially with the attraction of free visas for tourists from India and other countries.

“With free visas from India and other countries we expect many tourists to take advantage of this and attend this year’s Thaipusam celebration,” he said.

Assuring the public that Thaipusam celebrations will proceed as usual, he urged caution, advising those experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or flu to refrain from attending the event.

He said that the temple management is anticipating more than 50,000 milk pot carriers and approximately 1,000 kavadi bearers to participate in the celebration.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Nadarajah said that with the preparations for Thaipusam nearly complete, the temple has focused on logistics, cleanliness, and convenience for devotees.

“The riverbank has been cleaned, fresh water supply for cleansing purposes is ensured, and temporary stalls are nearing completion for the commencement of business on January 23,” he said, adding that the temple has relocated its old permanent shops to a newer structure.

Nadarajah said that the new complex not only houses shops but also features an Indian cultural centre and a wedding hall, which will be operational after the Thaipusam festival.

He added that as part of the customary ritual, the chariot will embark on its journey from the mother temple, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at 163, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur, at 9pm today.

“The chariot is expected to reach Batu Caves on January 24, around 3pm. The return journey is scheduled for January 26 with the chariot leaving Batu Caves at 3pm and reaching Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at 3am the next day,” he added.


Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple President R. Seetharaman said that with 2024 marked as “Visit Perak” year, the temple anticipates a significant turnout of approximately half a million devotees and tourists for Thaipusam.

“The Thaipusam celebration this year will retain its grandeur, comparable to the festivities witnessed in the previous year,” he said.

He said that this year’s Thaipusam at Kallumalai Temple is expected to feature over 300 kavadis.

“The diverse array of kavadis featuring light kavadi, patrai kavadikarumbu kavadi and thol kavadi is sure to add a vibrant touch to the spiritual celebration,” he said.

Acknowledging the prevailing challenges posed by Covid-19, he said that the temple committee members are taking proactive measures to raise awareness and prevent the formation of new Covid-19 clusters in Ipoh due to the Thaipusam festival.

“Visitors are strongly advised to adhere to safety precautions such as wearing masks, frequent hand sanitisation, and avoiding crowded areas.

“Individuals displaying symptoms are encouraged to visit the health booth set up by the Perak State Health Department for Covid-19 checks,” he told Malay Mail.

He added that under the new management, the temple has meticulously arranged facilities to enhance the experience for devotees during Thaipusam.

“Over 300 stalls, ranging from food and beverages to clothing, accessories, toys for children, and ‘annadhanam’ (offering free food to those in need), have already been registered with the temple management and will be operational on Thaipusam day,” he said.

Seetharaman said that the chariot is scheduled to commence its journey from the mother temple, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Jalan Sungai, Buntong, Ipoh, Perak, at 6am tomorrow and is expected to reach Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple at noon on the same day.

“The return journey is slated for January 26, with the chariot departing from Kallumalai Temple at 5pm and reaching Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at 11.59am the next day,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail


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