attukal bhagavathy

attukal bhagavathy

Attukal Pongala

Attukalamakku Ente Pranam!

Attukal Pongala is the most important ritualistic offering of a sweet dish to the Attukal Bhagavathi at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Trivandrum- the capital city of the state, Kerala. Attukal Bhagavathy is popularly known as the ‘Sabarimala of the Women’, attukal pongala is offered to the goddess on the 9th day of the 10 day long festival every year.

Every year lakhs of women from the various part of the country gather in the state’s capital to offer the pongala, the Attukal Pongala entered the ‘The Guinness Book of World Records’ for the largest gathering of women in the world on  a single day in a single place. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-annual-gathering-of-women/

Only women are allowed to participate in the pongala. On the auspicious day of the pongala, women from all walks of life line up on the streets  at least in a 10 kilometer radius of the temple irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or social status.The word pongala means ‘to boil over’, the pongala is a sweet rice dish made of rice, jaggery, grated coconut , nuts and raisins.The atmosphere gets really electrifying as the pongala starts. Pongala starts at around 10:30 AM with ‘aduppu vettu’, ritual signals the start of the pongala. The pongala finishes with nivedyam at around 2:30 PM when hundreds of priests walk around and sprinkle sanctified water to mark the finish of the pongala. During nivedyam it is considered that the pongala is savoured by the attukal bhagavathy and everyone is blessed by her.

I had a great chance this time to go and witness the holy event to get a feel- of- it. I was accompanied by my cousin Nandu and we were absolutely stunned to witness the spirit, energy and enthusiasm displayed by everyone there. The streets were completely occupied by the women. It was so exciting to see women of all age participate with their full spirit, worship the goddess and offer her favorite offering,pongala.

I really appreciate all the efforts from the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust, Trivandrum city municipality, Kerala Police, Kerala State Road Transport corporation, Kerala Water Authority, South Indian Railways,volunteers and everyone who made sure that every devotee was at ease for this holy event. There were free food stalls, water stalls and even some of the volunteers and resident organizations have organized stalls giving out cut fruits and fruit juices to quench the thirst in the scorching hot. I felt so happy, so blessed to be there and I look forward to be a part of this great festival from next year onwards.

Streets were decorated and picture of Attukal Bhagavathy was displayed almost everywhere…

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Nagar kavu…

nagar kavu/ naga pratishta

nagar kavu/ naga pratishta

Street vendors at Attukal..

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Devotees offering ponagala..

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devotees offering pongala

devotees offering pongala…

I sighted her making theraliyappam, a sweet dish- favorite of Attukalamma, right in front Bhagavathy Temple

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She was busy too making theraliyappam and she was sitting on right hand side of the entrance..

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She came all the way from Tamilnadu and she has been coming for pongala for almost every year..

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Their pongala was done and waiting for nivedyam at the shades..

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Her theraliyappam was ready and was seen busy arranging them..

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I took this photo from Karaman, devotees were seen sitting under shades while they were waiting for the nivedyam..

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Devotees make pongala in different styles, depending on the ingredients and the quantity they put in , the color,taste and flavor of the pongala  differ…

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This pongala was done and fire was put off…

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Manda puttu,sweet rice and mung bean balls is of the favorite dishes of Attukal devi..

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manda puttu

Theraliyappam…

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theraliyappam

Nandu, my cousin, he has accompanied me. He was found bit exhausted by the sun, he did not drop the ball though, thank you dear, Let’s visit again next year…

Nandu

Nandu

 

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