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| Thaipusam in TawauSri Murugan Temple in Tawau | THIRUMURUGAN TEMPLE in Tawau |


The three Hindu Temples in Tawau:
1- 北路印度廟 Thirumurugan Temple, Tawau
2- 育進寶石園河口印度廟
3- 斗湖電視台路嘉達姆斯瓦特阿拉炎印度神廟 Sri Jada Muniswarar Alayam
4- Ayya Veeran Temple, Tawau

Wednesday, 31 January
Thaipusam 2018 in Tawau Part 4/4

The annual Thaipusam procession from Sungai Tawau  to Tawau THIRUMURUGAN TEMPLE

Part 1/4 Thaipusam 2018 in Tawau

Part 2/4 Thaipusam 2018 in Tawau

Part 3/4 Thaipusam 2018 in Tawau

Part 4/4 Thaipusam 2018 in Tawau


On the day of the festival they undertake a pilgrimage to a temple where Thai Pusam is being celebrated, Along the way they performing acts of devotion and penance. The most notable practices are the carrying of kavadis (“burdens”).


Just before the sacred walk, devotees take a vow and pray for boons, often pledging some form of sacrifice or change in behaviour. During the ordeal, many experience states of euphoria or trance.


2006  |  2007  |  THAIPUSAM 2009  |  THAIPUSAM 2011  | THAIPUSAM 2014  |

The 3 main events in a yearly
 in Tawau Town, Sabah
1 2 3

Pūjā ( Pooja, पूजा)
(Sanskrit: reverence, honour, adoration, or worship)
A religious ritual performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons, or special guests.

In a Kavadi procession, there are 3 category of Kavadi carried by devotees:

1) Heavy weight Kavadi
2) Medium weight Kavadi
3) Basic weight Kavadi

Chariot (Temple Car) is used to carry representations of a Hindu god on festival days, when many people pull the cart.


Kavadis Procession is no walk in a green park. Walking barefoot on the hot road surface under the scorching sun is a great challenge. Water had to be poured to cool their feet as they walked on the hot tarred road.

A few devotees stationed by the road side with buckets full of water to pour on the feet of the pilgrims. The water cool the feet of the kavadi carriers, and cool the hot road surface for the following carriers to walk on.
The intense sun increased the burdens of the devotees. Miraculously however, very few people seem to be in pain or discomfort, no bleeding, no sign of fatigued, no one seem tired. The Hindu will tell you this is FAITH for those who believe.

Each and every devotee who made the Walk of Faith earn salute from the by standers who watch with awe.
Seeing Chinese folks participating in the procession is a reminder that we are living in a multi racial country. A cohesive society is a blessing from God.


Chariot procession for the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan.

This Thaipusam chariot procession bearing the statue of Lord Muruga started its short 1.5hour journey from and back to Tawau Murugan Temple.
The one half hours procession started at 8:00PM but the ceremony started at 7:00PM. The Chariot returned to the temple at 9:30PM
During the morning was Kavadis carrying by devotees as an act of penance or fulfilment of vows.
Among these Kavadis devotees undertake the pilgrimage to the temple were some who pierced their cheeks, tongues or skin on their bodies with hooks and Vel skewer.
The celebration of THAIPUSAM in Tawau Town is in a humble small scales. But Penang is one of
the two places in Malaysia to celebrate Thaipusam on a grand scale are Penang and Batu Caves temple.


THAIPUSAM is a colourful cultural and religious festival. Cultural is because the festival showcase the tradition of the Tamil from India. Religion is because the festival is about one of the world oldest religion.
In Sabah, East Malaysia, the largest Thaipusam Celebration is in Tawau Town where the large gathering of Hindu believers from many towns of Sabah get together each year to offer their devotion in the THIRUMURUGAN TEMPLE managed by Tawau Indian Hindu Temple Association at Mile 2, Jalan Utara, Tawau.
Thaipusam is a Hindu religious festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Muruga, and also the celebration of his parents presenting to him the vel (lance) in order for him to vanquish the evil. The festival is celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai, which falls on 23 January 2008.  
The largest celebration of Thaipusam happens in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, as procession after procession await their chance to walk up the 272 steps to the temple. This procession starts on the eve of Thaipusam from the Sri Mariamman Temple in the city centre, 15km away.  
During this event, devotees carry the kavadi or milk pot, run on fire, and pierce their body as it portrays their way of showing gratitude to Lord Muruga. Devotees also prepare themselves a month before the celebration by fasting and abstaining themselves from worldly pleasures.

Photo above : Thaipusam procession at Tawau THIRUMURUGAN TEMPLE accompanied by groups playing drums and singing religious hymns. A time to celebrates good winning over evil.
Thaipusam Festival of Hinduism in India was brought to the Malay Peninsula through the South Indian Diaspora during the 19th century. The festival has since evolved to so big in Malaysia that it has now far outsized celebrations, mostly unheard of, even in India.
Thaipusam, this original culture of India, is also celebrated in Singapore, Thailand, Mauritius and other countries where Tamil workers migrated.

Thaipusam commemorates the birthday of Lord Murugan (also called Subramaniam) the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, as well as, his victory over the evil demon Soorapadman when he used the lance given to him by Parvati to vanquish the demon's powers.



During Thaipusam, devotees go through a physical endurance of being skewered and pierced on the back and front of their bodies by hooks with miniature urns as an act of penance.
Majority of the devotees who go through this act are Indians but Chinese and other visitors can also be seen taking part in this act of faith which leaves many devotees and observers alike, spiritually transformed.

Ability to do this - it is faith
This devotee pierce his back with 6 steel hooks and step by step walked his way toward the temple of Murugan.
Bystanders watch in awe as metal pierces the skin with hardly any bleeding and apparently no pain as the devotee stands in a trance after weeks of rigorous abstinence.

Some think the white ash smeared on the body, the juice squeezed from the yellow lime fruit or the milk poured on the pierced areas may help to numb the skin. But most admit they have no answer. The devotees say it is faith and believe in Lord Murugan is what prevents the pain and the bleeding. Some asked what is religion of India?

Devotees give thanks to Lord Murugan for his banishment of evil, and for any good that has come their way over difficult times.
Some devotees carry a kavadi to the Hindu temple. A kavadi is typically a large metal frame decorated with colored paper, flowers or fruit.
There's more than one way to show devotion. Some devotees not only carry a kavadi but at the same time with piercing their bodies and/or faces with steel rods. Others will hang oranges off their backs with steel fish hook like contraptions. Others will pull a kavadi that has been attached to their bodies with hooks.

This festival is not just for devotees, others participate as well like the devotees' friends and family who offer support and help. And there are folks just going to the temple to pray.

Every one are amazed by the lack of bleeding by these piercings. Even when the steel was removed.
Devotees fast for a month to purify themselves and to get ready for this. When the day arrive they psych themselves into a trance-like state in preparation for the piercing. Men are mostly the ones who go for major piercings.

Annual Hindu festival THAIPUSAM draws large gathering in multi-racial Malaysia. In Tawau, the festival is celebrated on a mammoth scale at THIRUMURUGAN TEMPLE  locate beside the army camp.
Thaipusam commemorates the day goddess Parvathi, gives her son, Murugan, to vanquish three demons and their large army which were plaguing the world.
Thaipusam falls on a full moon day in the auspicious 10th Tamil month of Thai when the constellation of Pusam, the star of well-being, rises over the eastern horizon.
Thaipusam was brought to the Malaysia through the South Indian diaspora during the 19th century. The festival has since evolved and grown so greatly in Malaysia and Singapore that it has now far outsized celebrations, mostly unheard of, even in India.

The festivities in Tawau, so as in other parts of Malaysia, have evolved to such an extent to assimilate distinctly local characteristics. The celebrations have drawn a cosmopolitan following of many non-Indians.
The march of devotees bearing ceremonial milk-pots, coconuts and simple shoulder-kavadis in the balmy hours is an interesting sight to remember.

Clad in yellow and saffron, some with clean-shaven heads (symbol of humility and atonement) smeared with sandalwood paste, the devotees walk along the road sans the boisterousness that dominates the later hours of the day.
During the night, more than 5,000 devotees, their friends and villagers at Hill Top Road watch the annual procession of this Hindu festival. The stretch of road leading to the temple was closed temporary to traffic as it teemed with throngs of people fringed on both sides .

They carry milk-pots of brass and silver, and harnessed in colourful kavadis and inched their way to the Lord's Temple overhead with sweet hypnotic resolve. The children, the elders and even the disabled ones, scaled slowly with their ceremonial burdens, process with a mission to the call of the good Lord Murugan.

The Temple is visited by hundreds of devotees who end their journey on foot every year after hours of procession the pilgrims arrived at the temple with a final inspired spurt of fulfilment and calmness, to release their loads in the holy place as a realization of their vows.
Although this holiday originated in India, it's not widely celebrated there. One of the reasons it's celebrated in Malaysia is partly because of the large Tamil Indian population there and the fact that Malaysian believes in fostering religious freedom. Malaysia has a large Indian population.

Thirumurugan temple of Tawau
Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival which draws large gathering in Malaysia.
Pilgrims converge the temple for their offerings, prayers and to fulfil their vows. In this little town of Tawau, the Thirumurugan temple is the place on the important occasion. The oldest in Sabah, yet very little known, this temple located at an army camp at Jalan Utara 2 miles from Tawau Town.
A time to give thanks to Lord Murugan for his banishment of evil, and for any good that has come their way over difficult times. It is a time when the temple alive with the scent of flowers, coconut milk and incense.

In Tawau, the Thirumurugan Temple is the place for this important occasion. The oldest in Sabah, yet very little known. This temple located near an army camp at Jalan Utara, 2 miles from Tawau town. It was said that the design of Thirumurugan Temple follows that of South Indian temples.

Thaipusam is a Hindu religious festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Muruga, and also the celebration of his parents presenting to him the vel (lance) in order for him to vanquish the evil. The festival is celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai........

Across the South China Sea
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By Tching

Hindus request for Thaipusam holiday in Sabah
by Alen Kee. Posted on January 21, 2011, Friday
BorneoPost online :
TAWAU: Hindus in the district hope the state government would declare Thaipusam a public holiday in Sabah to enable more members of the community to celebrate together.

According to Tawau Hindu Temple president Nokiah Sannasi, people from different backgrounds, beliefs and religions would be able to share the celebration if Thaipusam were declared a holiday.

“It is a dream for us all for Thaipusam to be declared a public holiday in Sabah,” he said, adding that currently four states – Perak, Kedah, Selangor and Perak – observe Thaipusam Day a public holiday.

He added that those who work in the government, including teachers, police and other public servants would be able to celebrate the Hindu religion with others.

Speaking to reporters during the Thaipusam celebration here yesterday, he said a special committee had been formed to send the holiday request to the state government.

On the celebration, he said 30 people carried the kavadi, while 120 devotees carried paal kudam (milk pots), the largest in the history of the celebration in Tawau.

The devotees carried paal kudam and decorative kavadi from the river bank at Mile 3, Jalan Kuhara to the Thirumurugan Temple walking for about two kilometres.

He added that more than 400 devotees and their families from Sandakan, Ranau, Lahad Datu and Kunak gathered at the Thirumurugan temple here to offer prayers and take part in the Thaipusam celebration.

Meanwhile, Nokiah disclosed that the Thirumurugan Temple here needs RM300,000 for renovation and he hoped that the state government would assist in the cost.

According to him, it has become a custom and tradition for the temple to go through phases of renovation when it reaches 12 years old and for the Thirumurugan Temple it will be next year.

He said they were expecting the Thaipusam celebration to be bigger next year and thanked the government for contributing RM50,000 to the temple in December last year.

Nokiah said he was grateful and thankful for contribution as it proved the government is also concerned about the Hindus in the country.

Temple Managed by:
Taiwan Indian Hindu Temple Association
Mile 2, Jalan Utara, Tawau

President of the ThiruMurugan temple : S. Nokiah