Devotees gather at Batu Caves ahead of Thaipusam

Helan (left) and Bruce Wang visited Batu Caves on Thursday (Feb 2) night. Wang, who is from New Zealand, said it was his first time and he was fascinated by the cave.

THE Batu Caves temple attracts devotees both day and night in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration this Sunday (Feb 5).

Some prefer visiting the temple at night to avoid the crowd in the daytime.

The weather is cooler at night too which makes it more conducive for the devotees.

StarMetro spoke to several devotees who were at the temple to perform their prayers on Thursday (Feb 2) night.

Teacher Bruce Wang, 36, from New Zealand is a Hindu and visited Batu Caves in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration on Thursday night.

His guide was a friend he met in a Hindu temple in Brickfields several years ago.

"I was coming to Malaysia and contacted my friend Helan to take me to Batu Caves. Is a beautiful cave with a beautiful formation.

"The stairs up to the temple are narrow and it took me about 30 minutes to climb up, pray and return down," he said.

His friend, who wished to be known as Helan, 34, said she was a Christian before but was drawn to Hinduism.

She has been a practising Hindu since she was 25 and visits Batu Caves almost every year.

A family of eight came from Shah Alam in two cars all in hopes to pray so that their family member Yuvan Prabu, 11, will be able to speak someday.

The 11-year-old has autism and is the favourite child at home.

His mother N. Sumathi said every member of the family has been visiting Batu Caves since they were born without fail.

"During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic we did not come, but otherwise we will never miss it. We feel the crowd has reduced by 30% here now as compared to pre-pandemic times. It used to be more crowded.

"Despite all the other popular temples that have Thaipusam celebrations in the country we still prefer Batu Caves because of the cave and the fact that the kavadi brought by the devotees are beautiful here," she said.

N. Sasitaran, 32, said Thaipusam is a time when devotees as well as visitors would dance to the beat of drums. However, he said he did not spot any this year.

S. Vekneshware, 28, hopes to be married this year and came with her fiance from Seremban to pray.

"Last year I had to leave my kavadi in the car and enter the temple because it was not allowed due to the pandemic.

"This year I feel happy that I could bring my kavadi.

"Praying at night also feels better as the weather is much cooler as compared to the day time," she said.

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Thaipusam , Batu Caves , Night , Devotees , Hindus , Pandemic


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