It was very timely that the Thaipusam Festival (last weekend of January but the actual holiday was February 3) of the Hindus coincided with our trip to Malaysia. Of course, one must visit the Batu Caves, which is about an hour away by train from Kuala Lumpur. Thaipusam is a Hindu holiday where the Indians pay homage to Lord Subramaniam (also known as Murugan). Some carry jars of milk on their heads and they climb over 200 steps to reach the temple in the caves. They do this as a form of penance to cleanse away their sins. We didn't go up anymore as the line was extremely long and it was really crowded. The whole area were full of Hindus and tourists, several tents were erected on the sides that sell various Indian snacks, art works, accessories, clothes and other stuff.
On the square in front of their god, people just left their footwear everywhere since they have to climb the steps barefoot to keep the temple holy.
It was interesting that we were able to visit the place with all the hustle and bustle but I think it would also be nice to go back on a regular day where there's peace and quiet.
|Hanuman, the monkey god|
|The tallest statue in Malaysia: Lord Muruguan|
|The stairs behind the Lord Murugan has over 200 steps that will lead to the cave.|
|See all those slippers? And the ones in the plastic bags are not garbage, they're more footwear!|
|Some Hindus with jars of milk atop their heads.|
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
– James Michener