Thaipusam – close-up

Warning : Photos may be disturbing to some people. Bigger photos can be found on my Flickr site

Over here in Penang, the day has been cloudy and breezy, very different from the past weeks when it has been scorching hot. It is indeed a blessings to all the devotees making their way on foot up the temple in Waterfall. Otherwise, it must be unbearable for everyone.

I was caught up in a traffic jam and moving at snail pace on my way home after lunch.


This group of Chinese but Hindu devotees were walking along Dato’ Keramat Road heading towards the Waterfall temple around 13:15 (clocked by my camera). This is a sight not many can endure because because they have hooks on their skin and someone is actually pulling on the ropes to make it even more painful as the hooks stretched on the skin.

I notice that these group of about 4-5 young men had been carrying out this ritual a few times. Incidentally, I also caught them on camera last year.

I got home, took a rest, left the car at home and took the motorbike out for more photos.


Thaipusam has the air of gaiety because devotees come from far and wide. There are even Caucasian men carrying the kavadis. Peddlars sell all sort of things like the above Indian woman selling peacocks feathers.


Again, I bumped into the same group of Chinese men with the kavadis. This time, it is about 16:03 (time indicated by my camera). They had walked for three hours and about to reach the temple.

Usually, once the kavadi bearers have walked up to the temple and pay homage to Lord Murugan, they will come down and remove all the hook, spears and etc.


You can see a long spear pierced through the cheeks. (I did not take frontal photo as I think it is not very polite.) When I was there, I saw a few kavadi bearers whom had already removed their spears and hooks. Well, they look normal with only some reddish marks on the face.


This is a very colourful kavadi carried by an Indian man. Pretty sight of sunflowers. Thaipusam always fascinate me. The sight, sound and the faith of the devotees.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

5 thoughts on “Thaipusam – close-up


    (February 11, 2006 - 5:08 pm)

    Umm good photos……looks ok as no blood….


    (February 12, 2006 - 4:14 am)

    Lucky u! I wanted to get pixs but decided the jam to Batu Caves is not worth it.


    (February 12, 2006 - 4:56 am)

    Do you know if children carry kavadis or is it for people of a certain age only?

    Wu Ching

    (February 12, 2006 - 8:02 am)

    ouch! looks painful!


    (February 12, 2006 - 8:04 pm)

    Lazy to go out cos of the traffic jam out there..
    took me more than an hour to reach home on friday evening (normally it only took me 20 to 25 minutes)

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