Attukal Pongala Festival(Last Updated 15 Jul, 2022)
The Attukal Bhagavathy temple celebrates Pongala Festival, which is called the Attukal Bhagavathy. It is one of the important religious festivals of Kerala that is celebrated in Trivandrum. The Attukal Pongal is celebrated religiously in this temple in the presence of several devotees. The Pongala Mahotsavam is held in Attukal Bhagavathy Temple and is considered a sacred ritual. Amidst much fun and enthusiasm, the women cook the rice porridge with jaggery and coconut and offer it to the Goddess.
Description of Attukal Pongala Festival
This is a ten-day festival, and it starts according to the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham and closes with the sacrificial offering of Kuruthitharpanam. Observed by lakhs of women, this Attukal temple turns into the "Sabrimala for women" on these days of the Attukal Pongala. Therefore, the Attukal Pongala is observed strictly by the womenfolk.
Significance of Attukal Pongala Festival
It is believed that Goddess Kannaki has combined powers of three Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge), Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth), and Kali (Goddess of power and will). Therefore, goddess Kannaki is praised as a supreme Devi who grants the wishes of her devotees.
History of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple was built years ago by the local family. This family was believed to have had a vision of the Goddess in the dream, and it was according to her wish that they built this temple. It is also thought that the temple's deity was an avatar of the Kannaki. Therefore, according to legends, the local women have made the Pongala in to propitiate Kannaki.
How Attukal Pongala Festival is Celebrated
During the Pongala festival, women dress in their best clothes and offer their prayers at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple. The religious songs continue for 9 days of the festivals and other celebrations. The chief priest carries Devi's sword, and he blesses the ladies by sprinkling holy water and showering flowers. The blessed Pongala is then distributed amongst the devotees.
When Attukal Pongala is Celebrated
Held during February and March, it is held annually in Kerala and celebrated with great fun and enthusiasm.
- Nearest Railway Station: Thiruvananthapuram, about 3 km away
- Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 5 km away