KUALA LUMPUR: The annual journey of the chariot bearing the statue of Lord Murugan from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam here to Batu Caves proceeded without a hitch.
According to Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah, the Wednesday (Jan 27) morning procession was undertaken with the help and support of police personnel.
He said the statue of Lord Murugan and the support structures are very heavy, and would normally require at least 16 persons to lift onto the chariot that departs from the temple located at Jalan Tun HS Lee here.
"We were very worried on how to carry the deities as the conditions stipulated that the procession cannot have more than 10 persons.
"Thankfully, the Indian police personnel helped us. When we saw the policemen in their uniforms helping, it felt like Lord Muruga was carried by warriors," said Nadarajah.
He explained that Thaipusam commemorates the occasion when Lord Muruga's mother Parvati, gave him a 'Vel' (spear) so he could vanquish the demon Soorapadman and his brothers.
He also thanked all the devotees for observing the SOP and not crowding around or milling along the street when the chariot started its 14km journey at 3am Wednesday (Jan 27).
"It was a very peaceful and smooth journey, the devotees followed the SOP, so we are very thankful they respected and followed the advice.
"This year, everyone can pray peacefully from the comfort of their homes by watching it live online," he said, adding that devotees can also watch the prayers and ceremonies conducted at Batu Caves online, and pay their tribute to Lord Murugan from their homes.
Nadarajah said the chariot arrived at Batu Caves at around 5am, and will return to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam at 3am Friday (Jan 29), again in accordance with the same conditions.
Nadarajah thanked the Prime Minister, the National Security Council (NSC), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan for allowing the chariot procession to proceed.
The NSC decided in a special meeting on Jan 18 that Thaipusam celebrations for this year will not be allowed to be held at any temple.
Following this decision, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple management submitted an application for an exemption to allow the chariot to travel to the Sri Subramaniam temple in Batu Caves and back.
NSC approved the application on the condition that no one is allowed to follow or accompany the chariot throughout its journey to Batu Caves and back.
The chariot is also not allowed to make any stops in between the two locations throughout its journey.
Thaipusam falls on Thursday (Jan 28) this year. (ends)
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