Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple: A Tragic History

Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple

Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple

Accident at Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple

Unlike the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, this impressive Indian temple is not built inside one of the magnificent limestone caves. Originally, in 1889, it was. However, after a tragic accident where a priest was killed from a falling rock, a new structure was erected in 1930 away from the cave alongside the Kinta riverbank. Eighty years later, in 2010, it went through a major renovation.

Incidentally, there is a neighbouring Chinese Buddhist temple, which is in a cave. This is called Guan Yin Dan Ba Xian Tong Cave Temple. Below you can see a photo showing just how close in proximity there actually are.

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Guan Yin Dan Ba Xian Tong Cave Temple 6 of 9

Temple Structure

Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple is a monumental seven-tiered and 21 metres high gopuram (entrance tower). It is magnificently ornate, consisting of 528 rich and colourful figurines. The temple interior has a large hallway supported by pillars and decked out with a wooden panelled ceiling. This corridor leads to the shrine, where an image of the temple’s presiding Deity, Lord Murugan, is mounted.  There is also a wedding hall and large dining hall.

The Deity

Lord Murugan (also known Kartikeya, Skanda, Kumara and Subrahmanya) is the Hindu god of war. This also explains why you can find a peacock enclosure at the rear of the temple. In Hindu mythology, a peacock is often depicted as the God of War’s mount.

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Festivals

Celebrated at Kallumalai Arulmigu Sri Subramaniyar Temple are, among other festivals, the Deepavali and Thaipusam. During Thaipusam, there will be a parade with lots of Kavadi (“Burden” Dance). The temple also observes Kanda Sashti on the new-moon day of the seventh Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November).

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