Thaipusam, first evening

The first day is about hauling the chariots from the temples in Georgetown to the Muragan temple on the hill, allowing for many stops for offerings on the way. This is the largest built (so excluding caves) Hindu temple outside India.

Georgetown has a very active Couch Surfing group who organise weekly meetings and activities linked to local events. Respect. The organisers put in a lot of effort to keep the group alive.

I joined the couchsurfing group at the approach to the temple. Together, as a loose-knit group, we walked along the road. At the foot of the stairs we removed our sandals, then climbed.

Devotees carry urns of milk and honey on their heads on the long path to the temple. In an inner sanctuary stands a statue of the god Muragan. Attendants take the urns of offered milk and pour it over the statue.

The milk is now blessed. Outside it is recovered and anyone may drink the milk. Some take a bottle home.

We sat on the floor of the temple to absorb its energy.

Back down on the road, the gold chariot was approaching. Piles of coconuts line the road. Companies and familes have them delivered.

As the chariot approaches they smash the coconuts on the road. This purifies the road for the chariot.

It also allows the person throwing the coconut to unburden themselves of their bad deeds, to pay penitence.

The chariot drew abreast, the music throbbed, offerings were made. And it was gone.

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