On January 24, 2016, Hindus, especially Tamils, in Malaysia will observe the annual Thaipusam festival. The festival is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The best place to see this festival is the Batu Caves, north of Kuala Lumpur. The caves are a part of a limestone hill said to be millions of years old. From the base of the hill, you have to climb 272 concrete steps to reach the caves. Many devotees pierce their bodies with sharp instruments and even carry a contraption called ‘kavadi’. This ritual attracts a lot of viewers. Be prepared for a huge crowd and piles of floral offerings lying strewn around.

The festival is also held on a grand scale in Singapore.

What: Thaipusam
Where: Malaysia, especially Batu Caves
When: January 24, 2016
Details: www.malaysia.travel