Thaipusam chariots begin their journey in Penang

The golden chariot leaving the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Queen Street. - Lim Beng Tatt/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The golden and silver chariots began their journey 90 minutes apart in conjunction with the 233rd Thaipusam festival in Penang.

The golden chariot left the Sri Maha Mariammam Temple at Queen Street at 6.30am Sunday (Jan 20) while the silver chariot left the Kovil Veedu (Temple House) at Penang Street at 8am.

The Penang Hindu Endowment Board had brought in a new and bigger golden chariot this year.  

More than 5,000 devotees swarmed the Little India area as early 5am to witness the placing of  the vel (spear) on the golden chariot.

Devotees with offerings for the silver chariot at Penang Street. - Lim Beng Tatt/The Star

The deity of Lord Muruga was lifted on the silver chariot around 7.30am.

Nattukotai Chettiar Temple managing trustee Dr A. Narayanan said the silver chariot decided to move at 8am to give a headway to the golden chariot.

"We wanted to give the chariots and the crowd some distance for a smooth journey to Waterfall Road," he said.

The golden and silver chariots are  expected to reach the Arulmigu Sri Bala Thandayuthapani Waterfall Hilltop Temple and the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple respectively around midnight.

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