Attukal Pongala Festival, a world famous festival is celebrated once in a year in the southern part of Kerala at Attukal Devi Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. This temple is popularly known as 'the Sabarimala of Women'and this festival is essentially for woman. Women devotees from all over the world irrespective of caste, creed and religion gather on the Pongala day to pay tribute to Attukal Amma.
This ten day long festival is celebrated in the month of February/March each year. Followed with the auspicious Kappukettu and Kudiyiruthu ceremony, it starts on Karthika day of Malayalam month. The 9th day of the festival is celebrated as Attukal Pongala and at 10th day night, it will conclude with the Kuruthitharpanam.
Significance of the Festival
Attukal is the sacred place where the Goddess of the temple took rest while on her journey from Madurai to Kodungallur. She is believed to be the incarnation of 'Kannaki'. Pongala in Kerala means to boil over. During this festival, the natives of the land make offerings consisting of coconut gratings, sweet brown molasses, porridge made of rice, nuts and raisins to please the deity.
Happiness of the festivity begins with a religious song 'Thottampattu'. The devotional songs are continued for nine sacred days of the occasion. On the last main day, a number of woman's gather in the pristine temple to offer Pongala to the mother Goddess. The women of the land starts cooking the ritual Pongala early in the morning and by noon, the feast would be ready. Melsanthi, a chief priest of the temple arrives at the houses of the ladies with Devi's sword and blesses them by showering flowers and sprinkling holy water. The blessed Pongala is then taken back inside the house by the ladies.
The idol of the Goddess is later carried in a colorful parade that comprises of Kuthiyottom, Vahanam, Thalapoli, Annam, caparisoned elephants etc to the Manacaud Sastha Temple. Musical performances by some of the famous artists add extra delight to the occasion. The parade route further greets the procession with Nirapara. The next morning, the procession reaches back marking an end to the beautiful festivity.
So, participate in this glorious festival and make all your dreams come true.