Thaipusam

Hindu temple inside Batu Caves

After spending a wonderful weekend on the east coast of Malaysia, we had no idea that there might be another once-in-a-lifetime event right around the corner: Thaipusam.

Throngs of devotees climb the steps into Batu Caves, behind the giant gold-plated statue of Lord Murugan, for Thaipusam.

Thaipusam is the Hindu festival that is very popular in Malaysia.  During this festival, which fell this year on 7 February, many Hindus make a pilgrimage to Batu Caves on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur to offer thanks to Lord Murugan for granting them some favor.  Before they begin the pilgrimage, they will have fasted and prayed and meditated for about six weeks, in order to cleanse themselves and make a worthy offering.

On the day of Thaipusam, or even the night before (which is what we experienced), devotees will travel to Batu Caves to carry a kavadi and offer prayers in thanks for something good that has happened during the year. Many devotees will shave their heads, carry cow’s milk  or special kavadis up the 272 steps to the temples inside of the caves, some of them entranced, their flesh pierced with hooks and skewers–all in gratitude for the blessing that has been granted to them.

Hindu devotee carries a kavadi to the temple

To see this incredible festival, were driven to Batu Caves, back in Kuala Lumpur, before we going back to the Sri Utama KL Campus. Thaipusam was simply an incredible experience, unlike any to be had in America, and many photos were taken for memories in years to come.

Another devotee during Thaipusam

All in front of Lord Shiva

After climbing the steps, we pause at the deepest part of the cave in front of the statue of Lord Shiva.

Overall, this weekend was an unforgettable, enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experience, for which we are very thankful.

Felicia going back down the steps

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One Response to “Thaipusam”

  1. ginazmorrison Says:

    I can’t believe we were there!

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