The Thanneermalai gold and silver chariots procession in honor of Thaipusam will result in the closure of various major roads in Penang. The three-day celebration foresees the participation of over one million Hindu devotees. ACP Razlam Ab Hamid, the police chief of Timur Laut district, announced that certain roads in the area will be closed from today, 5am until 8pm on Friday(26th January 2024). He underscored the significance of ensuring public safety and facilitating seamless traffic flow.
To accomplish this, the police will assign a total of 1,289 officers and personnel to handle the situation throughout the three-day Thaipusam celebrations. Commencing at 5.30am, the gold chariot initiated its procession from Lebuh Queen towards the Thanneermalai Sri Balathandayuthapani Devasthanam Temple. It is scheduled to make its return journey to Lebuh Queen on Friday, concluding at 6pm. Simultaneously, the silver chariot began its journey at 6.30am, starting from Lebuh Penang towards the Waterfall Hill Temple. The silver chariot is expected to return to Lebuh Penang on Friday, completing its route by 7pm.
Among the road closed for two chariot processions are:
- Jalan Kebun Bunga
- Jalan Gottlieb
- Jalan Utama
- Jalan Burma
- Jalan Macallister
- Jalan Cantoment
- Jalan Nunn
- Jalan Brown
- Jalan Scotland
- Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
- Lebuh Victoria and several other roads depending on the movement of the chariots.
He emphasized that the public, particularly those using the roads, should adhere to the instructions given by on-duty policemen and strategically plan their travels to avoid potential traffic congestion. In the interest of safety, he further recommended that the public refrain from engaging in the use of firecrackers, consumption of alcoholic beverages, and wearing valuable jewelry that might attract the attention of criminals.
“Last year, a total of eight cases were recorded involving summonses and theft of jewellery and handbags over the three-day Thaipusam celebration. Visitors are also not allowed to fly drones for the duration of the celebration unless they have obtained permit and permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM),” he said.
He stated that measures will be implemented to enforce compliance with the authority’s directives, and any party found not adhering to these instructions will face enforcement action.
It is imperative for devotees and the public alike to remain vigilant and take note of the road closures in light of the upcoming Thaipusam celebrations. Adhering to the instructions provided by the authorities will not only ensure their own safety but also contribute to the smooth flow of the event. As the festivities unfold, may all devotees experience a blessed and joyous Thaipusam celebration, filled with spiritual significance and communal harmony.
You can track the location of the chariot here.