Tourists return to enjoy Thaipusam at Batu Caves

Tourists from Moscow, Russia, Kari and Nilda at 2024’s Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26: Tourists from UK, Russia, Japan, China were among others who joined in the celebration of Thaipusam this year.

Usually a week-long festival, beginning few days before the actual date (Thursday, Jan 25 this year), this year’s celebration continued to bring in a huge crowd, who not only took the 272 steps to the Sri Subramaniar Swami cave temple, but also checked out the various stalls offering a variety of foodstuff, as well as clothes, accessories and other goods.

Although the number has not returned to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, the turnout remained high amid the public holiday in Selangor and the Federal Territory.

For tourists from Moscow, Russia, Kari and Nilda, the event was both unique and highly enjoyable.

For Kriti and her friends, the wait at the KL Sentral for the train to Batu Caves was “a bit long” but the return trip was smoother.

“Actually, at the KL Sentral, people properly stood in line to get into the train and it was all well organised. We were happy that there were free train ride to Batu Caves.”

Batu Caves photo by Vickneswaran Jayapal

While the rain in the later part of the day brought a bit of inconvenience, it was generally a pleasant retreat for Radha’s family of five.

“The only thing was the eating and other stalls have become smaller compared to the previous years. However, we also enjoyed the fresh yoghurt drink, which are always offered free by some volunteers at every Thaipusam festival.”

Annadhanam – the offering of free food – a traditional practice in Hindu festivals and temples continued to feature at this year’s Thaipusam with various charity foundations and individuals offering food and drinks at their stalls. A camp was also set up the Madani government, offering assistance as well as food and drinks to the people.