GEORGE TOWN: The Silver Chariot has reached the Nattukotai Chettiar Temple at 6am on Wednesday (Jan 27) after it left the Kovil Veedu on Penang Street at 3.30am.
According to sources, an 11th hour decision was made possible due to the intervention of Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.
However, there was no procession but the chariot was accompanied by about 10 people.
Nattukotai Chettiar Temple trustee Dr. A. Narayanan said a last-minute appeal to Saravanan made it possible.
“We thank him and may God bless him,” said Dr Narayanan.
The chariot journey continues an unbroken 164-year tradition, having gone through world wars, the Japanese occupation, the communist insurgency, and now, the Covid-19 pandemic.
The chariot was towed by two bulls, towards the Waterfall temple in a shorter procession, compared to a 6.6km route in the past.
It passed through Hutton Lane, for the first time and made its way through Macalister Road instead of Jalan Dato Keramat.
The only time the chariot stopped was to swap bulls, with herders on standby every few hundred metres.
A handful of people accompanied the chariot, forming two lines on each side of the wooden-carted wheels, while a priest was seated next to the Lord Muruga idol.
Police had stopped devotees who had parked their cars to watch the chariot.
The devotees drove off after they were warned of a RM1,000 fine for violating MCO rules.
The chariot will return to Penang Street on Jan 29.
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