SEVERAL roads in Penang will be closed in stages during the annual Chitraparuvam Festival (mini Thaipusam) which begins today.
The chariot procession will start from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Queen Street at 6.30pm and is scheduled to reach the Sri Bala Thandayuthapani Hilltop Temple in Waterfall Road at 7am the next day.
Among the roads to be closed in stages are Lebuh Chulia, Gat Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, Gat Lebuh Prangin, Jalan C.Y.Choy, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat, Jalan Utama and Jalan Air Terjun.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng urged motorists to park their vehicles at the designated areas so that they would not cause obstruction.
“Motorists are advised to plan their journey to avoid getting caught in a traffic jam,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
He also advised devotees to refrain from wearing valuables so that they would not be the targets of snatch thieves or robbers.
The festival is similar to the annual Thaipusam which is the feast for the son of Shiva, (Lord Muruga Peruman), otherwise known as Lord Subramaniam.
It is held during the full moon in the month of Chitra, normally in April or May, and is only celebrated in Penang and Perak.
The return journey will begin at 8pm on Sunday with the chariot passing by Jalan Air Terjun, Jalan Gottlieb, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Cantonment, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson, Jalan Burmah, Jalan Transfer, Jalan Sri Bahari, Jalan Penang, Lebuh Campbell, Lebuh Buckingham, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Chulia before it reaches Queen Street early in the morning the next day.
ACP Gan also advised motorists to use alternative routes to get to their destinations during the Wesak Day procession tomorrow.
Several roads will be closed in stages for the procession which will start from Malaysian Buddhist Association Penang in Burmah Road before ending at the same place.
The road closure will begin at 6pm.
The roads to be closed in stages are Jalan Burmah, Jalan Pangkor, Jalan Kelawei, Lorong Burmah, Jalan Perak, Lebuhraya Peel, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson and Lorong Madras.
ACP Gan said those who needed assistance could call police hotline at 04-2282222, 2181880, 2181881 or 2181905.