Monday, June 5, 2023
Fairs & Festivals
 »  » Attukal Pongala

Attukal Pongala

Place : Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Month: February
Significance: Sabarimala of women
Date: 9.3.2020

The annual 'pongala' festival is celebrated with great fervor at the Attukal Bhagavathy temple popularly known as the 'Sabarimala of women' at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala. Pongala, held on the ninth day of the ten-day-long festival, is the most important ritual of the temple. This festival is said to be the largest annual gathering of women in the world.

'Pongala' means to boil over, and it refers to the customary offering of things which pleases the goddess. Devotees from all walks of life, irrespective of their social status, religion and cast, throng the temple to offer the 'pongala'- a sweet rice, prepared in earthen pots with rice, jaggery and coconut, to the Goddess. Only women are allowed to participate in this custom.

The ritual of cooking starts early in the morning and by noon, Pongala would be ready. Then the chief priest of the temple arrives with the Goddess’s sword and blesses the ladies by sprinkling holy water and showering flowers. The ladies take this blessed Pongala back to their houses. It is widely believed that the Goddess Bhagawati can make your wishes come true if you participate in this festival and the women do the rituals for health and prosperity of their families.

There is a legend behind this festival. Attukal is said to be one of the places where Goddess Attukalamma, believed to be the incarnation of 'Kannaki', (heroine of 'Silappathikaram' by Tamil Poet Illango in the 2nd century A.D) took rest on her journey northward from Madurai to Kodungallur.

Pongala festival has found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest attendance of women on February 23, 1997. 1.5 million women had participated in that year's Pongala.

How to get there

Air : The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, located at Valiyathura, 6kms from the city and about 7 km from the shrine. Many international air carriers operate daily international flights to Middle East, Male and Sri Lanka from Thiruvananthapuram. Indian Airlines has direct communications to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Jet Air (Gulf Air) has daily flights to Mumbai and Chennai.

Rail : Thiruvananthapuram central station located at Thampanoor is about 2 km from the shrine. The booking office is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm and 2.15 to 8pm. Sunday from 8am to 2pm. Railway enquiry Phone: 131.

Road : Thampanoor, about 2 km from the shrine is the main bus terminal in Thiruvananthapuram. It is located just opposite to the railway station. All of the long distance buses leave from here. (Bus Station - Phone: 0471-2323886)

Festivals - Kerala

AanayoottuAmavasi and Pournamim
Amritanandamayi BirthdayAranmula Boat Race
Arattupuzha PooramArthunkal Perunnal
Ashtami RohiniAttuvela Mahotsavam
Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy TempleChampakkulam Boat Race
Chembai SangeetholsavamChembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar Music Festival
Chettikulangara BharaniChinakkathoor Pooram
Chittur Kongan PadaCochin Carnival
Dharani Dance Festival / Dharani KalotsavEkadasi
Ernakulathappan UtsavamFeast at Edathua Church
Feast at ManarcadFeast at Parumala
Feast Malayattoor ChurchGuruvayoor Aanayottam
Guruvayoor UtsavamGuruvayur Aanayottam
International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)Kadammanitta Padayani
Kalpathi RatholsavamKalyana Krishna Dance and Music Festival
Kochi BiennaleKodungalloor Bharani
Kottiyoor UtsavamMachattu Mamangam
Manappullikavu VelaMannarasala Ayilyam
Maramon ConventionNavarathri Mandapam Concerts
Neelamperoor PadayaniNehru Trophy Boat Race
Nenmara Vallangi VelaNishagandhi Festival
Ochira KaliOnam
Ottapalam Nercha FestivalPattambi Nercha
Payippad Boat RacePradosham
PulikaliSabarimala Makaravilakku
ShasthiSoorya Dance Festival
Soorya Music FestivalSoorya Parampara Festival
Swathi SangeethotsavamThaipooyam
Thirunakkara ArattuThiruvathira
Thripunithura AthachamayamThrissur Pooram
Triprayar EkadasiUthralikavu Pooram
Vaikathashtami FestivalVela at Palluruthy and Chertalay