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Wednesday March 3, 2010

Malacca to gazette Arulmigu Sanasimalai Andavar temple

MALACCA: A campaign to promote an annual procession marking the Masimagam Hindu festival received an unexpected boost when Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam visited the Arulmigu Sanasimalai Andavar temple in Krubong on Sunday.

Mohd Ali said the Malacca government would gazette the 150-year-old Arulmigu Sanasimalai Andavar temple in Krubong as a historic monument.

Start of procession: Devotees carrying a statue of Lord Murugan

“We will also propose that the Masimagam festival be listed in the state’s tourism calendar of events,” he told reporters after visiting the temple and presenting mandarin oranges to devotees.

He said the state would contribute RM170,000 to the temple for repair and upgrading works.

More than 1,000 devotees gathered at about 5am at the country’s oldest Hindu temple, the 18th century Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple in Jalan Tukang Emas, to take part in a procession to the Arulmigu Sanasimalai Andavar Temple in Krubong.

The highlight of the three-day festival was a 12km procession of a silver chariot bearing the statue of Lord Murugan.

Devotees carrying pots of milk or pal kudum to seek blessings and pay homage to the deity accompanied the chariot.

Indian culture: A member of the Chetty community performing a kavadi dance accompanied by Indian drum music during the procession.

Over 50,000 Hindus took part in the festival that has become a tourist attraction.

Among the devotees was MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam who started the tradition 26 years ago with a handful of friends.