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Significance Of Kavadi in Muruga Temples - Reason For Kavadi In Murugan Temple

Offering Kavadi to Muruga is of great significance as it brings peace and good luck. The story and reason of taking Kavadi to Murugan is associated with Murugan testing Idumban of his determination and duty towards his Guru. The Kavadi that each devotee carries symbolizes his/her burden like the two hills carried by Idumban. It is believed that the burden in the life of a devotee who carries Kavadi is lessened by Murugan. Taking Kavadi to Murugan temples during Thaipusam is considered highly auspicious.

The usual Kavadi is a small wooden structure with an arch covered with a piece of cloth and is held on shoulders. The two sides of the Kavadi are covered with feathers of peacock – the vehicle of Muruga. The sides also contain two bags to carry offerings to Muruga. Some devotees beg at houses to collect the offerings. But today most people fill the bags on their own.

The person who takes the Kavadi should observe certain austerities. The austerities start with food. Most Kavadi bearers avoid non-vegetarian food, liquor and other intoxicating objects. Orange and yellow are the preferred dress color. These colors are associated with Muruga. The person on the day of journey holds a cane in his hand.

Some Kavadi bearers insert ‘vel’ (small lances) and hooks on the body. People do such austerity to please Murugan.

Today, artistic talent comes to the fore when it comes displaying Kavadis and the shape and structure of Kavadis have undergone sea change. Different types of Kavadi are offered by devotees at the Batu Cave Temple in Malaysia. And some of latest Kavadis are mind boggling.

In spite of all these changes, even today one finds people taking the simple traditional Kavadi and begging in South India to go to Palani Temple in Tamil Nadu.