Large crowd delays return of chariots to Penang temple

Devotees watching the Gold and Silver chariot being carried. - LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: A large crowd outside the Sree Balathanduyathapani Waterfall Hilltop Temple delayed the return journey of the golden chariot by an hour on Wednesday (Jan 19).

The temple committee, under police advice, had to delay the journey, which was originally slated for 7pm, until the crowd outside the gates cleared.

Both the golden and silver chariots only began their return journey at 8pm.

Waterfall Nattukotai Chettiar Temple managing trustee, Dr A. Narayanan said they could not delay the journey of the silver chariot.

“We have no choice but to move together as we plan to reach the Kovil Veedu by midnight.

Penang Hindu Endowment Board executive director Datuk M. Ramachandran said they had to abide by the advice of the police and delayed the procession by an hour.

Both chariots follow the same route with a total of four stops at temples with the golden chariot reaching the Sree Maha Mariamman Temple at Queen Street at midnight.

The three-day scaled-down Thaipusam celebration ends on Wednesday with the return journey of the chariots.

There were no thaneer panthal (refreshment stalls), kavadi, coconut breaking and head shaving this year.

The strong presence of police and other agencies ensured standard operating procedures (SOP) were followed and nothing untoward occurred.

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