Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Thiruvananthapuram known as Sabarimala for women. This is a very famous temple of Durga Bhagwati, the daughter of Mother Parvati of South India, which is established in Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala. This temple especially famous for the Pongal festival. This festival is celebrated every year for 10 days in the month from February to March. Women from many countries of the world attend this Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Thiruvananthapuram
About Attukal Pongala
The Attukal Pongala festival held at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Thiruvananthapuram. The goddess worshiped in the Attukal temple is Kannagi who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Attukal Pongala a popular women’s festival celebrated at the ancient Bhagavathy temple at Attukal in the Thiruvananthapuram district. It is a ten-day long event that begins on the Bharani day (Karthika Star) of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March) and ends on the tenth day with a night sacrifice known as Kurutitharapanam.
The ninth day is the important day of the festival when the Attukal Pongala Festival takes place. Thousands of women from all castes and creeds in Kerala and Tamil Nadu make offerings to the goddess by cooking Pongal near the temple. ‘Pongala’ is to be boiled. It is a customary offering to please the deity. It consists of rice porridge, sweet brown molasses, coconut, nuts, and raisins.
According to the Tamil poem Silappathikaram – The Epic of the Payal, the story goes that Kannagi’s husband Kovalan put to death by the ruler of Madurai for stealing the queen’s anklet. Kannagi proves her husband’s innocence. Later, she leaves the city. On her way to Kodungallur temple, she stops at Attukal. Devi Attukalma is an incarnation of ‘Kannaki’, the heroine of the Tamil epic ‘Silappathikaram’, written by the Tamil poet Ilango in the 2nd century AD.
Women Celebrating Festival
The festivities begin with Thottampattu (a song about Bhagwati). Religious songs continue for nine days after the festival. On the ninth day of Attukal Pongala thousands of women gather in the temple and prepare Ponkala or Pongala. The cooking ritual starts in the morning itself. The chief priest brings the goddess’s sword and blesses the women by sprinkling holy water and showering flowers. Women take Pongala back home.