Intruder at Thaipusam festival – Batu Caves – Malaysia

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 45mm | 1/160sec @ f8.0

Entrance to Batu Caves

It has been a long while since my last post, but I have been away from home a lot lately.  Occasionally, I have the opportunity to travel as part of my job and January saw me in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and very briefly in Beijing (China).  Despite increasingly onerous restrictions on carry-on baggage, I managed to get my D700 and 24-70mm on the plane and catch a small slice of life in these two fascinating cities.

Possibly, the most memorable few hours of the trip were at Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur.  The caves, about 13km from Kuala Lumpur are one of the most important Hindu shrines outside of India.  My trip to KL happened to coincide with the Hindu festival ‘Thaipusam’.   As part of the festival, a procession starts in KL city centre and walks to the caves, finally climbing the 272 steps leading up to the cave entrance.

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 70mm | 1/250sec @ f4.5

Carrying kavadi

The main festival day was Friday, but I was not able to go to Batu Caves until Sunday.  I caught the train out of the city not knowing quite what to expect when I arrived.  Upon exiting the train, I immediately felt over-awed and entirely conspicous.  The site was still very busy with pilgrims making their journey.  I felt like an intruder as one of only a handful of ‘western’ people there, especially with a huge DSLR hanging by my side.  However, I was determined to capture just a few images of the festival and share the story of the incredible festival.

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 62mm | 1/50sec @ f7.1

Entrance to the caves

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 70mm | 1/60sec @ f3.5

Entering the caves

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 28mm | 1/30sec @ f7.1

Batu Caves




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