Thaipusam is a time for penance, in a test of mind over matter. The main draw of the festival are the kavadi bearers, devotees who either drag "physical burdens" hooked to their backs or balanced on their shoulders. Some of these canopies can weigh up to 30 kgs. Equally quite a spectacle are those with face and body piercings which symbolizes Lord Murugan’s gift of a vel (spear) from his mother, Parvati. The devotees climb up the Batu Caves, all 272 steps of it, carryingtheir heavy kavadis.
See. Cleansing rituals take place on a river just near the caves across the railway track. Devotees also shower here as part of their cleansing and get their heads shaved at makeshift stalls just outside the train station.
Photography: Don’t use fill-in flash as this can be distracting to the devotees. Also no need for big long lenses as you can get really close to the participants anyway. Be mindful of your actions and be respectful at all times. Take note that this is a religious event, not a safari.