Rentak Selangor 2018 – Urumee Melam, Calling of the Gods’ Spirit at Batu Caves

This is one of the most vibrant and also essential Malaysian-Indian traditional performance which you can find here in Malaysia…

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The “urumee melam” gets its name from the urumee, an intricately carved, double-headed hour glass kind of drum made from goat skin, that is the lead instrument in the group, which also feature other traditional Indian drums such as the Thavil, Pambai, Tamukku etc…

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For part of the Rentak Selangor or Beats of Selangor tour where Gaya Travel magazine along with the Selangor UPEN brought members of the International media all the way to famous Batu Caves to experience first hand and watch the Chinna Rasa Urumee Melam group in Live action.. Chinna Rasa Urumee Melam happen to be one of the best groups around… and they are all very self disciplined…

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The Chinna Rasa Urumee Melam group members will only perform with full proper attire for Hindu Dieties Murugan and Kali, … and it is said that they do not drink or smoke as a sign of respect for this holy and traditional heritage..

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Urumee Melam is believed to possess some supernatural and sacred powers, in which when played in religious ceremonies and processions, the performance of specific beats on the urumi may induce spirit possessions or trance or even calling forth the diety’s spirit… and when the music was played in front of Batu Caves, one of Selangor’s favorite tourist attraction, under the watchful eyes of the gigantic atatue of Hindu deity Lord Murugan, it was mesmerizing….

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In case you somehow missed it.. Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones, somewhere about 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur…

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The 400 million years old Batu Caves houses the Cathedral Cave – the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves –which has several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave – which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings as well as a reptile house as well… huhuhu…

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While we were there we could not resist playing with the flock of pigeons and the odd monkey there.. it is advisable not to feed them but if you do, it is to your own discretion and well, be careful..

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Anyway, this was the first time I got to see the Urumee Melam performance and it was throughly an unforgettable moment…

 

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