GEORGE TOWN: The public can catch a glimpse of the new golden chariot tomorrow during its 3km trial run from the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Hilltop Temple to nearby areas and back to the temple.
The journey will start at 10am and the chariot will return to the temple within two hours. The chariot will be pulled by 20 volunteers.
Hilltop temple chairman R. Subramaniam said the chariot would be carrying a golden kudam (pot) filled with holy water.
“We will conduct early morning prayers before the first test run around the hilltop temple.
“Then, the chariot will be brought down to the foothill of the temple and the procession will proceed to the streets,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
Subramaniam said the chariot would pass through Jalan Kebun Bunga, Lorong Air Terjun, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Residensi and Jalan Utama before heading back to the temple.
He said the management had received permission from the police and no roads would be closed during the trial run.
Penang Hindu Endowment Board chairman Dr P. Ramasamy said there would be special prayers at the hilltop temple from 6.30pm on the same day.
He said there would be some 160 thaneer panthals (refresh-ment stalls) along the chariot route offering free drinks and vegetarian food during Thaipu-sam.
“It’s a 10% increase compared to last year’s celebration,” he said.
It has been reported that the Nattukotai Chettiars and the board are in a dispute over the chariot procession arrangements.
The state-controlled PHEB’s golden chariot would depart from Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Queen Street 90 minutes earlier than the silver chariot which would depart from the Chettiar-owned Kovil Veedu building in Penang Street at 6.30am on Feb 8.
This is the first time two chariot processions will be held during Thaipusam on Penang island.