THE main sanctum or sannidhanam of the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga, Penang, will be closed during the total lunar eclipse on Thaipusam day from 6.30pm.
Its managing trustee A. Lakshmanan said prayers would only resume from 11.30pm the same day on Jan 31.
He also welcomed devotees to offer their prayers and break coconuts to Lord Murugan in the silver chariot which will depart from the Kovil Veedu in Penang Street at 7am on Thaipusam eve.
Temple trustee Dr A. Narayanan said devotees were upset last year when the chariot which would usually reach the temple at about 11.30pm, only arrived at the temple at 5.30am on Thaipusam day last year.
“The kavadi procession had to be rerouted last year as the bearers were exhausted due to the prolonged procession
“We’ve met with the Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) and police and do not expect a delay to the silver chariot like last year because of the golden chariot moving in front,” he told a press conference recently.
Last year, the PHEB’s golden chariot under the state government made its debut. The annual procession over the 6.5km route took around 22 hours last year instead of the normal 13 to 14 hours.
Dr Narayanan said the golden chariot which will depart two hours before the silver chariot this year, will start its journey on the eve of Thaipusam from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Queen Street to the Sri Balathandayuthapani Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga.
Both chariots will pass through Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, Jalan Prangin, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Utama and Jalan Kebun Bunga.
When contacted, Waterfall Hilltop Temple chairman Datuk R. Subramaniam said the temple’s inner sanctum will also be closed from 6pm to 11.30pm on Jan 31 and all pooja and prayers will be halted.
On Feb 1, both chariots will leave their respective temples at 5pm and 6.30pm and pass through Jalan Gottlieb, Jalan Air Rajah, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson, Jalan Burma, Jalan Transfer, Jalan Sri Bahari, Jalan Penang, Lebuh Campbell, Lebuh Pitt, Lebuh China, Lebuh Pantai and Lebuh Market.
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