Kuala Lumpur, Jan.20 (ANI): Hindu devotees and tourists flocked to Malaysia's Batu Caves on Thursday to observe the colourful Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
The annual Thaipusam festival is an event of thanksgiving and penance and commemorates the day when the Hindu Goddess Pavarthi gave her son Lord Muruga an invincible lance with which he destroyed evil demons.
Devotees carry kavadis as they walk barefoot up 272 steps to the Batu Caves temple, while others have their tongues, cheeks and backs pierced with hooks and skewers, The Star reports.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak hailed the festival as a celebration of the country's multiculturalism.
"Hindu devotees from overseas as well as tourists come here to appreciate the wonderful diversity of our culture and the openness in which many different faiths are expressed and practiced," Najib wrote on his blog.
The festival is also celebrated in several other parts the country. (ANI)