Sunday, 27 January 2013

Thaipusam Festival at Batu Caves...

Our first visit to the amazing Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur was almost 3 years ago and it was a race to the top of the 272 step climb, battling 33 degrees and 80 % humidity with 4 children in tow. I had read quite a deal about the Batu Caves so it was a must that we visit this religious site. Our taxi driver took us out to the unique hindu site and we had a brief discussion in regards to  the annual 'Thaipusam Festival' held here every ear and asked if he participated, which of course he did...'OUCH' was my comment and he laughed, saying it is a custom.

3 years ago on our first visit to the Batu Caves

Only 200 steps to go...we are almost there...xx

We have recently returned from Malaysia this month and I desperately wanted to go back and visit the caves. When we reached our destination this time I asked our cab driver the same question...'Do you participate in 'Thaipusam'? "No" he replied...not for me...too painful, he laughed.

So off we headed, admiring the stunning 'Lord Murigan, all 42.7 metres of him made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete and 300 litres of gold paint which was brought in from neighbouring Thailand, and Lucie was in full swing and counted all the way up to 272, when we reached the top of the cave.

The Batu Caves, is a limestone formation, which has a series of caves and cave temples, 13 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur. It takes it 's name from the Sungai Batu or Batu river , which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

3 years later at our return to The Batu how the children have

The 272 steps leading to the cave entrance...xx

The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and is dedicated to Lord Murigan. Batu caves serves as the focus of the Hindu community's yearly Thaipusam festival and It has become a pilgrimage site for not only Malaysian Hindus, but Hindus worldwide from countries such as India, Australia and Singapore.

Devotees carry offerings to Lord Murigan either by hand or carriers on their shoulders called a Kavadi.If anyone is wondering what a Kavadi is, it is a wooden arched circular support which may rise up to two metres, built of metal frames, holding long skewers, the sharpened ends of which are pierced into the skin of the bearers torso. Some Kavadi may weigh up tp 100 kilograms. The bearers then make the arduous 272 step climb to the top of the cave , where they are then blessed by the priests and sprinkled in ash. This is when the piercings are removed...OUCH...


Very Brave....xx

The Kavardi....ARGHHH.....xx

Happy Thaipasum...xx