Despite working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for some years, this is the first time I went for a Thaipusam celebration. I have to wake up at 5AM and drive several km to reach Batu Caves. By the time I reach there, it was already packed with people from all walks of life. One thing I noticed was most devotees were adorned with dresses and vesthi of yellow and orange color, known to be the favorite color of Lord Murugan.
On the main entrance to Batu Caves (obviously it has been blocked for vehicles), I can see thousands of people flocking towards the temple in procession, some carrying kavadis (wooden/bamboo structure decorated with peacock feather), some carrying milk pots (known as Pal Kudam), some were tranced to impersonate various Hindu deities. On another corner of the street, I can see shelter for barbers offering devotees to shave their head bald, an act of atonement to the Hindu God.
I followed the devotees towards the foot hill of the temple, where one needs to climb up 272 steps to reach the Murugan Temple (The Caves). There were 3 lanes for devotees to line up in front of the stairways: the right for exit, the left for entry, the middle as “backup” either for entry or exit. We as a visitor and photographer, managed to take the middle lane and snaps some good photos. I proceeded to climb up the stair and was lucky to capture a few of my favorite shots (as shown below). Upon entering the caves, there were already hundreds or thousands of devotees queuing up, ready to offer milk, water, fruits and floral that they have carried to Lord Murugan.