Taking a Goddess for a Bath

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The chariot housing the goddess.

A deity is carried out to sea in Teluk Bahang in a ceremony that is as elaborate as it is breathtaking.

At dawn on February 22, the 120-year-old Sri Singhamuga Kaliamman Temple in Teluk Bahang buzzes with activity. It is the day of the Teppa Tiruvizla, the 43rd floating chariot festival.

A celebration to thank the goddess, Sri Singhamuga Kaliamman, for her good grace and to beseech her to continue providing devotees with protection and prosperity, Teppa Tiruvizla only takes place during Masi Magam, the 11th month1 in the Tamil calendar. It is a day when temple idols are taken out for a ceremonial bath. Thousands travel from all over Malaysia to take part in the festivities.


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