Thaipusam 2018 @Batu Caves

Having missed last year’s Thaipusam due to work related travels, it felt good to be able to make it to this year’s celebration. Thinking I could avoid the extreme crowd and move around relatively easier and unhindered, I was over at the celebration grounds in the wee hours of 31st January. Alas, it was of no consequence as it was as crowded as I had experienced it on previous visits, possibly even more crowded by the looks of it, my ‘grand’ plan to beat the crowd came to nought and lack of sleep unrewarded :(.

A Lord Murugan Figurine Mounted On A Kavadi

The experience and mental picture of the grounds/happenings from previous visits helped me to settle down and move around the grounds quicker, avoiding the crowd where possible. This year’s event was as crowded and busy as before, yes, but I felt it lacked that bit of sparkle, intensity, colour somehow, maybe it was because I spotted less kavadis, less intense spiritual feats, or maybe that’s just how it is with the celebration in the wee hours of the morning! I was there from 1.30am till 7am, by about when I could feel the effects of sleep deprivation getting the better of me, packed it in and duly headed home for some much needed sleep. I have a number of earlier posts on Thaipusam (links can be found at the bottom of this post) and will not write about it again here, would rather just let each photo tell its own visual Thaipusam story. Hope you enjoy.

Devotee In A Trance Fulfilling The Thaipusam Ritual

Drumming It Up

Devotee In A Trance Led By An Assistant

It’s Extremely Crowded And These Ladies Are In Queue, Patiently Inching Their Way Toward The Temple Which Is A Long Way More To Go

Devotee In A Mayil Kavadi And Two Assistants Set To Go On The 272 Steps Up The Cave And Temple

Devotees Briefly Pray Upon Reaching The Stairs

Step By Step

Devotee In A Trance Making His Way Up The Stairs

Devotee In A Trance Making His Way Up The Stairs

Perfect Spot For A Selfie

Almost There, A Few More Steps To The Cave Entrance

Pierced Devotee’s Back With Pots Of Milk For Lord Murugan

Pierced Devotee’s Back With Cheroot Sticks

Piercings Removal Upon Completing The Ritual

Twitches From A Devotee Face When Piercings Were Removed

Holy Blessings For A Couple

Falling Back Into Consciousness

Waiting For Group Members To Reach The Temple

Banded Bros


Crowd Making Their Way Down The Stairs

Crowd Making Their Way Down The Stairs

My other posts on Thaipusam can be found here:




All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 23mm, XF 35mm and XF 55-200mm









2 thoughts on “Thaipusam 2018 @Batu Caves

  1. For someone sleep deprived in the wee hours of the morning, these shots are spectacular. So sharp, and they capture the celebrations so well: packed, lots of people, lots of devotion to tradition. Every photo speaks a story. Excellent work in low light. It really is a lot of people there so early from the looks of it.

    Take care, Ken. Hope all is well and best of luck with photography 🙂

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