IPOH, Feb 3 — Over 400,000 Hindu devotees and foreign tourists are expected to throng the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh here to celebrate Thaipusam this year.
Its chairman M. Vivekanda said the public would surely take the opportunity to enliven the celebration at the temple, which is over 100 years old, and perform religious rituals, including fulfilling their respective vows, as there are no travel restrictions due to Covid-19 like before.
“A total of 1,000 kavadi bearers will be involved in the procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Jalan Sungai Pari, Buntong, to the temple in Gunung Cheroh,” he told Bernama when contacted.
Elaborating, he said preparations for the Thaipusam celebration had been completed with the help of the police, who will ensure smooth traffic flow and monitor the area along the procession route.
More than 200 tents have also been set up for the sale of food, drinks and prayer items.
In addition, Vivekanda said the temple, in collaboration with the Ipoh City Council, provided trash bins around the premises and advised the public to keep the surroundings clean.
“We also provide several mobile toilets for the comfort of visitors during this celebration and a special area for the disabled and the elderly,” he said, adding that the public is not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages and set off firecrackers.
Last year, the standard operating procedures for Thaipusam stipulated that only the ‘paal koodam’ procession of carrying milk pots, prayer activities and chariot processions were allowed during the festival.
The number of devotees was also set according to the respective temples, while prayer ceremonies were conducted in sessions.
Meanwhile, Ipoh district police chief ACP Yahaya Hassan reportedly said that several roads around Ipoh will be closed in stages from 6 pm today until Tuesday for the Thaipusam procession.