Wat Sangkaram seems to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. I went there yesterday morning with my sisters, nephew and closed friends, who took us for some Spiritual Bathing (Mandi Bunga) in the temple by the Buddhish Monk.
Nothing much I can find out from the internet except a blog on Wat Sangkaram, not updated at all.
Picture 1 - I guess I'm lucky to get this photo from the Buddhist Monk (he saw me taking so much pictures of the temple) It is a very old picture, as you can see from the picture, the head of buddha, the right hand and a part of the left hand seemed to be blown off with 8 bombs by the British (Not powerful enough to blow into pieces :-)))
Picture 2 - The Buddha got a new head and arms plus a new temple for worshiping.
I find this temple is so peaceful and I feel so calm and relax. Will come again..
Mee Koo kuih is a traditional cake, where the chinese make it for prayers during the 1st and 15th chinese lunar calender and other prayers festives. It's a kind of bread a bit sweeter than our ordinary bread and coated with red color. Its very funny, for chinese everything for prayers must be in red color, hmmm...so as my surname, Ang. hehe..
I visited this shop on my way to have breakfast beside the shop. I thought all the meekoo are already ordered by customers, oh well, they make extra for some meekoo lovers like me. I bought 10pcs of small meekoo, one for RM1.
I always cut it into pieces and have it french toast, it is nice to dip in black coffee too or spread sekaya on top. Emmm...lovely.
Kedah state is also known as "The Rice Bowl of Malaysia" and is the biggest producer of rice in Malaysia, of course. I just loved the see the green colour of paddy fields with Malay kampungs. So peaceful, Im glad my house is beside a wide paddy fields in Bukit Mertajam.
Here, in Sungai Petani, my relatives from Singapore, never seen paddy fields before. They are quite excited to see the real plants of paddies. FYI, Molly pulled out a plant and bring home to Singapore :-)))
Thousand of devotes and visitors gathered around the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple and Sri Subramania Swami Devasthanam temple for Thaipusam celebration, in the hot blazing sun. Im sweating like a pig with no umbrella or a hat.
On the way from Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple to Sri Subramanie Swami Devasthanam temple, I sure like the carnival like air, with song praising Lord Muruga. Chanting of Vel-vel and beating of drums and hindu trumpet.
The street were lined with Thaneer panthal (refreshment stalls) free drinks and foods for devotees and visitors. Some take this opportunity to open business selling Indian muruku, cakes, punjabi dresses etc.
All paal kadam and kavadi bearer will end their spiritual journey at Sri Subramania Sawmi Devasthanam temple with blasting fireworks.. Aaah.. What a wonderful experience...
There are also Chinese devotees joined the Thaipusam. Mostly they prayed for more business opportunity. Walking barefooted, with small milk pots hooked to their bodies, vel (spike) pierced through their cheeks.
Some Kavadi bearers have their tongue and cheeks pierced with metal replicas of the vel (spike). Oh God, the piercing is a show of endurance and devotion. They do not feel any pain because they in a state of trance.
Here some scary pictures, close your eyes if you dont want to see...;-))
Paal Kudam (milk pots)
Carrying of paal kudam is also a form of thanksgiving to Lord Muruga.
The festivity started as early as 5am at most temples, where devotes made their spiritual journey from the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple to Sri Subramania Swami Devasthanam temple.
Thaipusam is a Hindu Festival celebrated mostly by Tamil community in Malaysia on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January / February). This year on 6th February.
In Sungai Petani, Hindu devotees throng the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple and Sri Subramania Swami Devasthanam temple to offer their prayers to Lord Muruga.
Kavadi bearer need to observe strict restrictions and fasts for a minimum 40days, having one simple vegetarian meal a day and also abstains from all pleasures of life and observes complete celibacy. No alcohol and no making love. ;-))
We used Charcoal for cooking, bbq, steamboats etc.. but do you know how charcoals are made of, well, I also dont know, I just learnt today.. As you know every rivers in Sungai Petani have a lot of mangroves trees (the bakau trees). They are harvested according to the system set from the State Forestry Department, the bakau are cut, debarking is handled in the forest, the log are cut to 1.6m and weight about 20kg per log. Then they are transported back to the igloo like kiln and stacked by the side of the kiln to dry out carefully to ensure the air pollution is possible to have the black shiny ebony charcoal. Twigs and branches are used to lighten for combustion process. For 8 to 10days, the baking with temperature over 220 degree centigrade to remove the moisture from the wood. The charcoal are control by the smell of the charcoal until the temperature drop to around 83deg for further baking for another 12 -14days. Then they are cool down completely for 8 days. then the charcoal taken out and stacked in 5kg packing.
Picture 1 - Burning Charcoal
Picture 2 - The Real Charcoal Factory at Bakar Arang, Sungai Petani.
Picture 3 - Igloo like kiln
Picture 4 - The brick wall of kiln
Picture 5 - Thats how the wood are stacked properly before burning..
This (which I will call "A music wagon") small lorry that was fully decorated and a group of singers rendering devotional songs of Bahjans. Bhajans are devotional songs recited in praise of, and expressing love for and gratitude to, the Lord. Contemplating, uttering or writing the names of the Lord serves to purify one's mind, speech and action. Chanting the names of the Lord is one of the means of God-realisation.
Bhajans can be sung by an individual either quietly in one's heart or loudly for all to hear.
Devotional singing is not just a mechanical performance. Bhaava (feeling), Raaga (melody), and Thaala (rhythm) are the essentials for proper singing of Bhajans.The devotee should immerse himself or herself in the singing, combining one's voice, tune, feeling, and rhythm to the appropriate beat of the song.The sacred words of the song should be an outpouring of love and devotion towards God.
Thats so true, I wish I could jump into the wagon and listens to the beautiful Bhajans songs.
Vinayagar Sathurthi festival was a major religious event for the Hindus worldwide. In Sungai Petani, the last day of the 10days celebration was held here. The Golden and Silver Chariot procession begin around 7pm along the roads in Sungai Petani.
The festival was just great, street performances, drum beats, fire dances, peacock dances, and people offering free food to the public.
The elephant headed Lord Ganesha, who is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune..
The Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple, recently celebrated Vinayaka Shathurthi is the Hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
The date usually falls between 19 August and 15 September. every year. The festival lasts for 10 days, and everynight at Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple in Sungai Petani, there are prayers, free vegetarian food for the devotees..
Modak is a famous Indian sweet, prepared especially Lord Ganesha on his Birthday, as it's his favorite sweet. Thus, majority of the people consider it a must to make Modak on the very first day of Ganesh Shathurthi.
I guess Im the only chinese there to witness this special prayers that night.. I took a lot of pictures, inside the temple is like a grand palace to me..Beautiful..
The Mangroves Forest along the Merbuk River (Sungai Merbok) at Sungai Petani, Kedah could be the largest protected mangroves forest in Malaysia. Mangroves are special habitats. They protect the shoreline from erosion and tsunamis, provide shelter from wind, provide habitat for fish and shellfish, serve as stopover sites for migratory birds and wood products.
Another famous Indian temple in Sungai Petani.. Very crowded during thaipusam and other festivals.
Everyone incl my family came here for prayers and blessings, I like to come during the prayer time at certain hours of the day, where indian trumpets and drums were played beautifully, you have to be to witness this special ceremony, where the priest will clean the statue, of yes, registered your name and pay a little amount of money for prayers you seek. Fold your hand in front of deity and the priest will say some prayers and speak your name in tamil, put a spot of ash on your forehead and give you some water to sip for blessing (You want to know what water it is? you have to ask me for the answer) hehe.. and leave the temple with a happy feeling..oh yes, remove your shoes before entering the temple.
A beautiful park in Sungai Petani, officially open by the Sultan of Kedah in 1983. Its a place for relaxing, jogging and practising chinese tai chi, picnic and couples dating in the park. I used to date here too :))
The park have a playing ground for the children, a pond of ninja turtles, and a big enclosure with some species of birds and deers. Its really a nice place to spend time here with family and friends.