KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24, 2016:

Thaipusam is being celebrated in the country by Hindu devotees with colourful processions of kavadis and various other religious activities in honour of Hindu deity Lord Murugan.

At the Sri Subramaniyar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves here, a large number of devotees gathered to pray and pay penance to Lord Murugan during the celebration, observed by Hindus during the month of Thai, the 10th month in the Tamil calendar.

The procession of over 10 colourful kavadis was indeed the main attraction for the visitors today.

MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam launched the Thaipusam celebrations in the compound of the temple, which was filled with devotees mostly clad in saffron yellow that symbolises purity, as well as local and foreign visitors who wanted to experience the festival.

The temple had been packed with Hindu devotees who had come to pray and perform various religious rites since last week.

In Ipoh, over 20,000 Hindu devotees have been flocking to the Arul Subramaniar Temple in the Gunung Cheruh limestone hill near Medan Istana here since yesterday.

Various religious activities were held in the area, including the kavadi procession bearing the image of Lord Murugan from Sungai Pari to the temple.

At Press time, the area was still congested with Hindu devotees and the number of visitors was expected to increase later in the afternoon.

However, traffic situation on the main roads in the city was calm as the roads heading to the temple had been closed since yesterday till midnight today.

In George Town, Hindu temples along Jalan Kebun Bunga and Jalan Air Terjun were flooded by a large number of Hindus celebrating the festival.

Various religious activities and rites were held in bright and colourful environment, especially at the Sri Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani Temple located on top of the hill in Jalan Kebun Bunga.

The colourful celebration also captured the attention of local and foreign tourists who were fascinated by the procession of kavadis and Hindu devotees paying penance to Lord Murugan.

Deputy Penang police chief Datuk A.Thaiveegan was also spotted in the compound of the temple to monitor the situation and mingle with other Hindu devotees.

Speaking to reporters, he said it was estimated that a million Hindu devotees had flocked to the temple and its surrounding areas, including Jalan Kebun Bunga, Jalan Air Terjun, the Botanical Park and Jalan Gottlieb.

“Traffic is slow but under control. A total of 1,500 traffic policemen are on 24-hour duty during this celebration,” he said.

In Kuching, colourful procession of Hindu devotees carrying kavadi and paal kudam along a 3km route from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Rock to the Sri Srinivasagar Kaliamman Temple in Jalan Ban Hock marked the Thaipusam celebration in the state.

The procession also passed through Jalan Tun Haji Openg, Jalan Crockshank and Lorong Park.

Members of the public, as well as foreign tourists, thronged the area to watch the procession and catch a glimpse of Hindu devotees who were paying penance to their Lord.

In Kluang, Hindu devotees thronged the Samajam Sri Murugan Temple in Jalan Layang Layang, Renggam, for the religious activities in conjunction with Thaipusam festival today.

The celebration was made more meaningful with the presence of Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

The Sultan, who arrived at the temple at 12.18pm, also joined the Hindu devotees for lunch.

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