Take a Trip and Celebrate Kuala Lumpur’s Biggest Hindu Festival


If you are looking to partake in wide spread festivals then check out the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.


On the full moon day in the 10th Tamil month of Thai, (which is usually mid January to mid February), for this calendar year it’s on January 27, you may watch a most spectacular if not, somewhat frightening festival unfold.


This festival, which is the most spectacular of Hindu festivals in Malaysia, involves a wild orgy of hideous body piercings. The festival is held to mark the day when Lord Shiva’s son Murugan was given a lance to destroy three demons.


The kavadi carrier or Hindu devotee subjects themselves to seemingly masochistic acts as a fulfillment for answered prayers.  They are often seen carrying offerings of milk in paal kudam (milk pots), which are connected to their skins by hooks.


Some even take it a bit further, the vel kavadi, which are spikes that pierce the skin of the carrier and are decorated with peacock feathers, pictures of deities and flowers. Some even go as far as piercing their tongues and cheeks with hooks, skewers and tridents.


Although it looks excruciating to onlookers, a trance like state prevents the participants from experiencing any pain. The wounds are later treated with lemon juice and holy ash to prevent scarring.