Temple chairman R Nadarajah told a press conference yesterday that the temple management had lined up several proposals to the National Security Council (NSC) and the Health Ministry to allow the celebrations to go without attracting a crowd.
Below are the suggestions lined up:
- The silver chariot procession will depart from the from KL Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Jalan Tun H.S.Lee at 10.30pm, in a non-stop journey to Batu Caves. The journey is expected to take 3 1/2 hours given the speed of the prime mover. There will be no stops in between.
- Devotees will not be allowed to follow the chariot procession, or put up tents/thaneer panthal to stop the chariot for offerings and archanai.
- The deities will reside at the Swamy Mandapham in Batu Caves Sri Subramaniyar Temple as always to give darshan to devotees who turn up.
- No shops/stalls will be allowed to be set up within the Batu Caves temple compound. The management also discourages setting up of tents, stalls, etc., outside the temple area and even at the riverside embankment (athangkarai). The riverside, however, comes under the purview of the Selayang Municipal Council, which will enforce the restrictions.
- The carrying of paal kudam and kavadi will be allowed, but only two persons will be allowed to accompany the carrier.
- Hand sanitisers will be installed at the entrance of the Batu Caves temples. The wearing of face masks, as well as having body temperatures checked, and personal details scanned/written down for contract tracing, will be made mandatory.
- No ear-pearcing, tonsuring allowed.
- The silver chariot will depart the Batu Caves temple at 4pm and conduct its non-stop journey to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam in Jalan Tun H.S.Lee, following the same route. The journey is expected to take three hours.
"The festival, prayers and poojas will however continue as always in keeping with the religious practices at the temple synonymous to Thaipusam. This cannot and should not be stopped or prevented."
He expressed hope that the NSC and the Health Ministry will give the proposal thorough consideration and allow the celebrations to proceed.
However, where possible, Nadarajah urged devotees to observe Thaipusam at home and stay away from Batu Caves.
You can check out the press conference below:
Source: Makkal Devasthanam FB
Video source: Makkal Devasthanam FB
Photo source: Astro Awani