The chariot holding the god Murugan awaits its journey across town.
I took a few folks out this morning to photograph the start of Thaipusam. The day started early with the chariot being prepared between 5:30am and 6:30am. At around 6:45am the chariot left and will continue slowly rolling along throughout the day until it arrives at another temple across Greorgetown. All along the way devotees will gather around to offer fruits, incense, money and other offerings and be blessed by the priests. The statue is said to contain a solid gold statue of the god Murugan.
Here is a quick look at what I returned with. It is interesting how each year the photos look and feel completely different (at least to me 😉 )
The crowds pushing close to the chariot to get a view and a blessing.
People bringing incense and other offerings to the chariot and the God.
And offering of bananas and coconut and money are brought to the chariot.
Young woman attempts to approach the chariot with her offering.
The crowds are crushing.
A man brings his offerings.
The crowds are unending.
A man enters into a trance before his pilgrimage.
Devotees begin the piercing of their tongues and cheeks for their walk to the temple.
Tongue and cheeks as well as other parts of his face are pierced with the vel.
Here a young man has both the vel as well as a milk pot on his head called a Pal Kavadi.
Same young man just as he begins his pilgrimage to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Kovil temple.
Families often pray for children when they are having a trouble conceiving. Once they conceive they often bring the baby back for dedication.