Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Upgraded chariot for Thaipusam but No Strawberry, Chocolate Milk or coconut archanai (offering) for prayers this year.

Upgraded chariot for Thaipusam

Sacred journey: Hindu devotees carrying the silver chariot in last year’s Thaipusam procession to Batu Caves temple. —filepic
Sacred journey: Hindu devotees carrying the silver chariot in last year’s Thaipusam procession to Batu Caves temple. —filepic
IN conjunction with the 125th year of celebrating Thaipusam at Batu Caves this year, the silver chariot underwent a RM150,000 upgrade.
It will make its maiden journey, called the vellotam, from the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 31 at 8pm.
The silver chariot carrying Lord Muruga and his consorts Valli and Theivanai will head back to Batu Caves on Feb 1 at 10pm for the Thaipusam festival.
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah said the chariot would stop at several points to receive and offer prayers, and is expected to reach Batu Caves at about 2.30pm on Feb 2.
Nadarajah added that the police had been notified of the procession, and asked devotees to observe traffic rules and not obstruct the procession.
The roads affected by the procession are Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Pudu (Bulatan), Jalan Pudu/Jalan Tun Perak, Lebuh Ampang, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Kovil Hilir, Lorong Kovil Hilir and Jalan Perhentian.
Nadarajah also said that the temple would not offer coconut archanai (offering) for prayers at Batu Caves from Jan 31 to Feb 3 and only banana archanai would be offered.
Due to the temporary restriction of coconut archanai, Nadarajah advised devotees not to buy coconut offering bags sold at RM10 from vendors outside the temple grounds during the festive period.
“Instead, they should buy a RM5 ticket for the banana archanai at the temple itself,” he said during a press conference last Friday.
He said another reason for restricting coconut archanai was due to the malodour caused by stagnant coconut water and to help in crowd movement.
Nadarajah also said that devotees would be allowed to carry rose water as offering apart from the fresh milk.
“We do not allow other flavours like chocolate or strawberry milk, but paneer (rose water) is a cleaner and a fragrant substitute,” he said.
Four million people are expected to witness the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves this year, added Nadarajah.

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