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Published: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 7:24:53 AM

Going back to basics with Idumban Kavadi

Rajnee carrying the ‘Idumban Kavadi’ while joining other devotees in celebrating Thaipusam at the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Hilltop Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga, Penang.

Rajnee carrying the ‘Idumban Kavadi’ while joining other devotees in celebrating Thaipusam at the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Hilltop Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga, Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: Thaipusam’s earliest kavadi, an Idumban kavadi, made its appearance at the festival here.

Many were impressed by the sight of the Idumban Kavadi, which had two pots of offerings suspended from each side of a wooden staff, as a devotee carried it to the Arulmigu Bala­­­thandayuthapani Hilltop Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga, Penang.

Lord Idumban, for whom a shrine is dedicated at the foot of the hill, is said to have carried two hills on his shoulders for the sage Agastya but the hills were claimed by Lord Muruga.

“Idumban is now the guardian at the foot of the hill where Lord Mu­­ruga’s temple is,” said R. Rajnee, 36.

The freelance location scout for film companies has been carrying kavadi for the past 20 years, but it was his first time shouldering the Idumban Kavadi.

He said the shaft weighed about 5kg and was custom-made.

“One pot contains cow’s milk while the other has rose water. Both are used for abhisegam (ritual bath) of Lord Muruga,” he explained.

At yesterday’s kavadi session, which was organised by the Malaysia Hindudharma Mamandram for the 13th year, some 150 devotees celebrated Thaipusam earlier although the actual day is on Friday.

Malaysia Hindudharma Maman­dram deputy president D.S.V. Nandakumar said they usually chose the Sunday before Thaipusam to fulfil vows for the convenience of elderly devotees or those with children.

Tags / Keywords: Religion, thaipusam, kavadi

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