Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action. -Mahatma Gandhi-

i was at maran last week for the pangguni uthiram festival at the sri marathadavar aalayam temple. legend says that some 120 years ago, construction workers wanted to cut down a tree and when they tried to do so, the tree bled red blood and a worker went into trance. in trance, the guy said that the tree needs to be spared i.e. not chopped down.

since then people started prayed at the site of this tree and the place became a small temple.

word of the tree’s miracle spread and as the years passed, thousands started visiting this temple and make vows.

the original tree suffered the lapse of time. the tree in the picture above is a twin to the original tree and is located right next to the original tree. since the original tree is closed to the public, people stuck bits of yellow cloth symbolising a wish to this tree instead.

there were hundreds of stalls selling all sorts of things all around the temple grounds and along roads leading towards the temple.

people who had their vows fulfilled shaved their heads, carried milk pots, fire pots, burning coconuts or even kavadhis. i saw two guys rolling on the ground around the temple.

it is pretty much like thaipusam. just the whole festival felt much more solemn and ceremonious. there were music tauters but there wasn’t a blow out concert like the one at batu caves. frankly, there was nothing elaborate about the temple whatsoever. but the people i spoke to swear by the temple’s miracles, which some claim to be among the most potent and powerful in these parts of the world.


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