There are many different kinds of kavadi that make an appearance during Thaipusam.
The most common kavadi. It is usually filled with fresh cow’s milk and carried on the head to Lord Murugan’s temple.
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.
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.
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.
This kavadi consists of small hooks pierced on the skin with pots of milk/vibuthi/sandhanam/
This kavadi consists of hooks pierced into the back. It is either pulled by another walking behind or hung from a decorated chariot.