KUALA LUMPUR: The silver chariot carrying the Lord Muruga deity as part of the journey to kick off the annual Thaipusam celebration from a city temple to Batu Caves this year will be a colourful one.
Unlike the previous years, the chariot will be decorated with light-emitting diode (LED) lights, to match the newly renovated, vibrant Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple in Batu Caves.
The temple’s volunteer electrician, P. Ravichandran, said using LED lights would help reduce the heat.
“Previously, the chariot was decorated with normal bulbs which emitted more than 90% of energy. The LEDs will reduce the heat from the bulbs,” he said.
The chariot procession will start its journey from Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Tun HS Lee at 10pm today and is scheduled to arrive at the Batu Caves temple at 3pm tomorrow.
Ravichandran said he took three weeks to decorate the chariot with the LED lights.
Meanwhile, Sri Maha Mariamman temple trustee K. Kathirasan said a diamond-shaped decorative light has also been fixed inside the chariot to create a vibrant impact on the 7.3m-high chariot.
The Thaipusam silver chariot procession, he said, was first introduced on Jan 21, 1983 from the city temple to Batu Caves.
“Before the chariot was introduced, a wooden wagon made from ‘thekku maram’ (teak wood) was used.”
He said the procession is expected to see a large crowd of devotees travelling on foot with them for 16 hours to make their way to Batu Caves.
Kathirasan said special prayers were conducted to clean, polish and decorate the chariot to be used in the procession.
The preparation takes about a month. Another special prayer will be performed before the journey starts today, he said.
During Thaipusam, Hindus fulfil their vows by carrying decorated “kavadis” and pots of milk as offerings to Lord Muruga. — Bernama