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Monday, August 24, 2009

79.5-kms-long Ganesha Chathurthi convoy sets record in Malaysia

Malaysia's longest convoy of 213 lorries participated in Vinayagar Chathurthi celebrations on Sunday, marking the birthday of Hindu Lord Ganesha.

The 79.5 kilometres long convoy, which included an elephant to signify the deity, achieved a new feat in the Malaysia Book of Records.

Hundreds of devotees walked beside the lorries, which had been decorated with portraits of the elephant-headed Hindu god, in a procession that began from the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, the Star Online reports.

The procession stopped briefly at various places, including the Kottu Malai Pillaiyar temple in Jalan Pudu Lama.

Among the devotees at the Kottu Malai temple was J.K. Vassanthi, a school teacher, who has been taking a fast of silence in homage to Lord Ganesha's birthday for the past 28 years.

Another devotee who came to offer her prayers there was a Chinese woman, who embraced Hinduism three years ago.

"I feel calm and serene in this temple," said the woman, who only wanted to be known as Adeline.

The 32-year-old fitness trainer said she often prayed at a nearby temple but decided to drop by Kottu Malai after finding out about the festival.

Clerk C. Minatchi, 31, said she had been going to the temple every week for six years since her prayers had been answered.

"My brother had gone into coma after an accident. I prayed to Lord Ganesha and 10 days later, my brother recovered," she said.

Port company executive C. Kaleappan, 51, said he had been travelling all the way from Penang with his family to celebrate the occasion at Kottu Malai for the past 18 years.

"I feel a special bond with this temple and with the blessings of the Lord, my family is prosperous and healthy," he said, who came with his wife and three daughters.


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