PENANG: A floating chariot procession at the Teluk Bahang coast here attracted some 25,000 Hindu devotees last night.
The Masi Masam Theppa Thiruvila (floating chariot festival) procession, believed to be the only one of its kind in the region, was held in the waters fronting the Sri Singamuga Kaliamman Temple, next to the Penang Mutiara Beach Resort.
An idol of the presiding temple deity, Lord Sri Singamuga Kaliamman, was taken out of the 107-year-old temple into an elaborately decorated chariot-raft at 7.30pm.
The chariot-raft was towed to sea by a boat, which returned to shore 90 minutes later.
Devotees chanted Om Om Kaliammah as the chariot, bearing nine people including priest R. Ramesh, accepted offerings from the devotees.
Devotees were also seen placing lotus-shaped floats with candles into the sea after making their wishes.
Fireworks from accompanying trawlers filled the dark sky as the chariot was about to head back to shore.
At the temple grounds, stalls sold food, clothes and accessories while a cultural performance entertained the crowd.