Famed as the festival exclusively for women Attukal Pongala is a celebration that is worth witnessing in Kerala. Celebrated in Attukal Bhagavathi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the festival has a Guinness record for being the largest single gathering of women for a religious activity. It is a ten-day-long event which starts from the Bharani day (Karthika star) of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham i.e February,March. The festival ends with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam performed during the night. The ninth day is the biggest day of the festival when Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place. In this festival, a large number of women make offerings of pongal for the Goddess Attukalamma to please her.
Duration of the Festival
Highlights/ Important Rituals of the Festival
- Festivities begin with Thottampattu, which is a song about Bhagavathi. These religious songs are sung for consecutively nine days of the festival.
- On the ninth day of Attukal Pongala, a large number of women gather in the temple with items for cooking Ponkala or Pongala.
- The Melsanthi or the chief priest blesses the women with Goddesses’ sword. He also sprinkles holy water and showers flowers.
- The idol of Goddess is carried to Manacaud Sastha Temple in a vibrant procession comprising of Thalapoli, Kuthiyottom, Annam, Vahanam and decorated elephants.