6 Kavadis you see during Thaipusam

There are many different kinds of kavadi that make an appearance during Thaipusam.

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Paal Kavadi

Photo: Flickr/beggs

The most common kavadi. It is usually filled with fresh cow’s milk and carried on the head to Lord Murugan’s temple.

Mayil Kavadi

Photo: Flickr/beggs

The most elaborate and biggest kavadi, up to 2m tall. Decorated with peacock feathers, this kavadi is attached to the devotee using 108 spears pierced into the skin on the back and chest.

Thol Kavadi

Since the peacock is known as Lord Murugan’s mode of transportation, this kavadi consists of two bent, semi-circular pieces of wood and beautified by flowers or peacock feathers.

Alavu Kavadi

Photo: Flickr/Nestor’s Blurrylife

This kavadi pierces through the flesh of the devotee’s tongue or cheeks with a vel/ spear. As this prevents the devotee from speaking, it is said to give them greater powers of endurance.

Read next: 50 Traditional Arts, Crafts and Trades of Malaysia

Koodam Mulle

This kavadi consists of small hooks pierced on the skin with pots of milk/vibuthi/sandhanam/kumkum tied to them as an offering to Lord Murugan. Some may also tie fruits to the hooks.

Vette Mulle

Photo: Flickr/beggs

This kavadi consists of hooks pierced into the back. It is either pulled by another walking behind or hung from a decorated chariot.

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