Sea of colours: Devotees carrying various ‘kavadi’ and ‘paal kudam’ walking towards the temple to make offerings during Thaipusam at Batu Caves.
KUALA LUMPUR: R. Gaithree, 33, shaves the heads of her two young children every Thaipusam as a sign of gratitude to the gods.
She was having trouble conceiving after a year of marriage, and turned to prayers asking for children.
Soon after, she was blessed with a daughter and a son. The girl is now three, while the boy is two.
“It was an answered prayer for me, and because of that, I bring my daughter and son to Batu Caves every year,” she said.
Gaithree and her husband are among the thousands who make the pilgrimage to Batu Caves as part of their religious devotion.
Thilaga Nallapan, 30, who suffered from an undisclosed illness recently, was at Batu Caves to offer thanks on her recovery.
“When we achieve or hope to achieve a goal in life, we offer a pot of milk to bathe the statues in the temple.
“My parents and I were praying for me to be cured, and now that I am well again I have come to say thank you,” said the administrative executive.
A family of five, lead by 57-year-old Rajendran Manikam, were also spotted in Batu Caves dressed in shades of orange and yellow, carrying jugs of milk up to the temple.
“We have been coming here every year for 20 years now.
“It is a special Thaipusam, because all my three children have graduated and have got good jobs,” said Rajendran.
Also in the crowd was a group of Buddhist monks from Singapore, who were in Malaysia for a visit.
“At first we did not know that there was a celebration here, but having heard of it we decided to take a look for ourselves,” said one of the monks.