In spite of the rain yesterday, the scene at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Devasthanam Temple in Batu Caves was one of a 'Mini Thaipusam' as thousands of devotees whose spirits were not dampened by the shower turned up.
Although the Thaipusam festival celebrated over three days begins on Tuesday (Feb 7th), the devotees came early in droves, to fulfill their vows early to avoid congestion on that day.
A check by Bernama found devotees dressed in yellow and carrying pots of milk ('pal kudam'), some with shaven heads and others carrying babies in 'sugarcane cradles', climbing the 272 steps leading to the temple to perform their respective vows.
Temple commitee secretary C Sethupathy said since Saturday, some 100,000 devotees had visited the shrine in the temple cave.
"About 10,000 Hindus also fulfilled their vows to offer 'pal kudam', following the weekend holiday," he told Bernama in Batu Caves yesterday.
Hindus celebrate Thaipusam on Thursday.
The annual festival celebrates the occasion when Lord Murugan received the holy spear from his mother, Goddess Parvati, to eliminate the power of evil, 'Soorapadman', and restore the well-being of the people.
The celebration of the 166th Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves will begin with a procession of the 'Silver Chariot' bearing the deity of Lord Murugan and his two consorts, Goddesses Valli and Theivanai, from Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun HS Lee in Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves at 10pm tomorrow.
Batu Caves, famous for the world's tallest Lord Murugan statue at 42.7 metres high, is expected to be visited by 1.5 million devotees and foreign tourists during Thaipusam.
A devotee, R Parthiban, 28, said he and his family fulfilled their vows to offer 'pal kudam'.
"We were worried it will be a bit difficult to climb the stairs on Thaipusam day because of the crowd. That's why we came yesterday," he said.