The Balathandayuthapani Temple, better known as Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Kovil, is one of the oldest Hindu temples of Penang and it was originally situated in the beautiful Penang Botanical Gardens. The shrine is one of the best places to visit in Malaysia so it should definitely be included on your travel itinerary. The grandness of this place, its history, and incomparable value will surely make travelers benefit from the experience to the fullest.
Tourists who visited the shrine claimed that hearing the story behind Arulmigu is only one of the countless amazing things to do in Malaysia.The legend says that a holy man, “sadhu” in Malaysian, chose a spot right near the waterfall to build a monument for Murugan. The place was called thanner malai, which means water hill, and the divinity was known as Thannermalaian, meaning “the one who resides at the waterfall.”
The ancient Balathandayuthapani temple dates back to 1895, when the British authorities invaded the area and took over the original temple. They offered the Hindus eleven acres of the hill to build a new temple for praying. Since then, the Balathandayuthapani temple is the central piece of all Thaipusam celebrations and it isvisited by thousands of people annually. You no longer need to wonder what to do in Malaysia because this sacred place is hardly waiting for your visit.
The Sree Ganeshar Temple
At the beginning of the staircase leading to the famous Balathandayuthapani temple we have a special monument dedicated to the god Ganesha. Because of this monument, the Sree Ganeshar Temple developed separately. It soon became a completely different shrine with its own devotees. This monument deserves as much attention as Arulmigu as they comprisean entitythat provides tourists with plenty of things to do in Penang.
Attractions of the Balathandayuthapani temple
As you climb to the top of the hill to arrive at the temple, you will be able to enjoy spectacular landscapes. The wildlife of the surrounding area is impressive, the vegetation is dense and the air is incredibly clean. Half way to the top you’ll come across the Old Hill Top Murugan Temple, which used to host the Thaipusam celebrations. Nearby there’s a pavilion built in 1956 and it now serves as a staging area for pilgrims and tourists. From that point, you get a great view to the newly built Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple. It will motivate you to keep climbing and arrive at your destination.
The new Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Kovil – positioned in Penang, on the hills of Jalan Kebun Bunga is considered the largest Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temples outside India. It was erected to accommodate a huge number of devotees and travelers alike during main celebrations such as Thaipusam. An Indian architect together with 19 artisans and temple builders devoted 4 years to hand-sculpt the design of the temple. The result: a superbly decorated prayer hall and a main tower with 7 stories that’s identical to South India’s ancient temples.
Visitors are devotees must climb around 500 steps to reach the temple, and in spite of the effort as soon as you get to the top you’ll realize that everything was worth it. The new temple was inspired from the era of Pallava and Chola kingdoms of India, and the 18 ft. high teak wood door will mark a special feature of the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Kovil temple. The new edifice is 30 m higher than the old one that’s been on the premises since 1850, and it must certainly be included on your travel itinerary to Penang.
Don’t know where to go in Malaysia to get in touch with the gods? Then you should certainly check out the famous Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple. Its beauty cannot be expressed in words and you must go there to understand how valuable and amazing it truly is. Located in Jalan KebunBunga, Georgetown, on Penang Island, the temple hosts some of Penang’s most important festivals and celebrations namely: ChitraPournami, PeriaKarthigai, Thaipusam, KanthaSasti, and AadiPournami.