Fascinating Waterfall Temple located in the capital city of George Town, Penang
Panorama of Waterfall Temple located in the capital city of George Town, Penang. Photo: Waterfall Hilltop Temple Facebook
Malaysia Tourism: Attractive Waterfall Temple located in the capital city of George Town, Penang
Located in the capital city of George Town (Penang, Malaysia), Waterfall Temple or Balathandayuthapani Temple is a small temple at the foot of the Penang Botanic Gardens waterfall. According to local beliefs, a Sadhu (ascetic monks, revered by the people, considered as saints) chose a location near the waterfall that is dedicated to the worship of the god Murugan. They worship the Vel (sacred spear) of Thanneermalaian (name of Lord Murugan). Thaneermalaian means “one who lives under the waterfall”.
Initially, Balathandayuthapani temple was the main temple to worship the god Murugan until 1850 when the British government took over the area to establish a reservoir, the temple was forced to be relocated. The temple was granted an 11-acre site (about 4.5 hectares) along the then Waterfall Road. The temple, after being relocated and located on a hilltop overlooking George Town, was completed in 1850.
In addition, the temple is also a famous pilgrimage site for Muslims when the annual Thaipusam festival is held. The silver chariot procession begins at the Kovil Veedu temple in Penang Street and travels along the streets of Georgetown before reaching the Waterfall Temple.
Thaipusam begins early the next day, when the sacred spear Vel is carried from the Maha Mariamman Temple in Queen Street to the hilltop Waterfall Temple to pay respects with a pooja ritual. Then, thousands of devotees bring kavadis and other offerings to god Balathandayuthapani to show their respect, gratitude and repentance.
To climb to the top of the hill, devotees will need to climb 513 steps, higher than other temples in Kuala Lumpur’s Batu Caves. You can see the 21.6m high Gopuram tower with seven floors, sparkling cream designed based on Chola architecture. The main door is made from Burmese teak, size 5.5m x 3.5m, thickness 2m.
Malaysia Tourism. Photo: tuantruongduc
The artwork and sculptures of Waterfall Temple were made by PV Krishnamoorthy Stabathy, who built more than 150 temples in Malaysia. There are also many other temples located around Waterfall Temple such as Arulmigu Sree Ganeshar Temple in the foothills, Edumban temple and Arulmigu Naganathar temple.
Malaysia Tourism. Arulmigu Sree Ganeshar Temple. Photo: tuantruongduc
Some notes when you visit the Waterfall Temple such as: dress appropriately, don’t be too revealing, remove slippers, don’t feed birds, fish or even monkeys, keep your phone on silent mode.