Located in Penang’s ‘Little India’, in the capital city of Georgetown, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage.
This tropical island of Penang, lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang’s rapid growth as a trading hub in the early 1800s, especially in commodities such as nutmegs, cloves and pepper attracted traders from Europe, America, Arabia, India as well as China.
Ancient mythology has it that, in the month of Thai in the Hindu calendar (January 15 – February 15) at an astronomically significant point of time, namely Pusam, Lord Murugan (also known as Lord Subramaniam) taught his father (Lord Shiva) the meaning of the word Aum.
Aum is a highly potent terminology in Hinduism that signifies the primeval sound of creation. The significance here is based on the moment when a son turned teacher to his father.
Opulent Chinese mother-of pearl dining table graces the massive hallway. Tiles inlaid with small, brownish chintz decks the accompanying living room.
Richly woven tapestry adorns the walls; pictures of a wealthy Baba-Nyonya couple, the Penang Peranakans, hang demurely alongside.
The scent of antique, wooden teak lingers in the air.
Excitement coursed through my veins, as my small feet lumbered nimbly up the steely white stairs.
The ascending air was getting chilly, and the bright sunshine glared brightly as I treaded gingerly.
I was making my way, alone, up the eighty-odd steps of the famed Fort Cornwallis Lighthouse, situated on the northeast side of George Town, Penang.
Trying my best to not look downwards I held tightly onto the railings. A camera balanced menacingly around my neck, I whispered a silent prayer.