KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12, 2016:

Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Swamy Devasthanam Temple is expected to receive about 1.6 million Hindu devotees and visitors including foreign tourists during Thaipusam on January 24.

The 165th year celebration will start from January 22, according to temple committee chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah.

He said certain facilities for the prayer ceremony at the riverside near the temple had been upgraded with the assistance of the Selangor Department of Irrigation and Drainage.

The upgrading works costing RM3 million had been approved by then MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel while he was the Natural Resources and Environment minister, he told Bernama.

He said the number of volunteers at the temple would also be increased.

“We have also replaced all the wires to ensure sufficient electricity supply and avoid a repeat of the power disruption last year.

“I can gurantee 101% that such an incident will not happen this year,” he assured.

Nadarajah said the silver chariot carrying “Lord Murugan and his two consorts Valli and Theivanai” would start its journey from Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee to Batu Caves on Jan 22 at 10pm.

The chariot is expected to arrive at Batu Caves on January 23 at 2.30pm and the procession will head back to Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on January 25 at midnight.

Meanwhile, the temple committee will not compromise with devotees who flout the rules while fulfilling their vows by carrying a kavadi which it does not approve of.

“Our volunteers will restrain them at the temple entrance if their kavadi is decorated with items that shouldn’t be there or if they carry weapons such as a machete or are smoking cigars,” he said.

He said 2,000 police personnel would be based at Batu caves throughout the celebration which would be graced, as in past years, by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In Malaysia, Thaipusam is similarly celebrated grandly at Sri Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani Temple in Penang and Arul Subramaniar Temple at Gunung Cheruh, Perak.

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