PENANG: Thousands of devotees converged on Penang Street here for the annual Thaipusam chariot procession to fulfil their vows and seek Lord Muruga’s blessings.
The silver chariot bearing the statue of Lord Muruga left Kovil Veedu (place where the statue is kept) in Penang Street at about 7am and headed for the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga.
The devotees fulfilled their vows in an orderly manner and abided by the temple’s request to stay away from the chariot when breaking coconuts or making offerings of fruits and flowers.
The silver chariot left behind a sea of smashed coconuts on its procession route especially at Jalan Datuk Keramat.
Bulldozers scooped up the smashed coconuts while workers cleared the road of obstacles to allow the chariot to move on.
Whistles were blown to instruct the crowd to move to the roadside to allow the chariot to continue its journey.
Jostling among the huge crowd of devotees and curious onlookers was Canadian tourist Winter Yamashita, 23.
“This is truly an integrated fes-tival,'' he said.
The chariot passed through Lebuh Chulia, Gat Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, Gat Jalan Prangin, Lebuh C.Y. Choy, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Utama and Jalan Air Terjun before reaching Nattukottai Chettiar Temple at around midnight.
It will return to Kovil Veedu tomorrow.