Attukal Pongala

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The Attukal Pongala festival typically takes place annually in the Malayalam month of Kumbham in Attukal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,India, which corresponds to February-March in the Gregorian calendar. The exact date varies each year based on the Malayalam calendar. The Pongala festival may date back more than 1,000 years. Its origins may be associated with the celebration of the Puthiyeedu during the Medieval Chola empire days.

There are several myths behind Attukal Pongala, and one among them is as follows: the festival commemorates the divine intervention of the goddess Bhagavathy in saving the local people from a deadly epidemic. Legend has it that women in the region prepared a divine offering called ‘Pongala’ to appease the goddess, and miraculously, the epidemic subsided. Since then, the tradition of women preparing Pongala as an offering to the goddess has been upheld.

During the festival, women gather in large numbers, lining the streets and alleys surrounding the temple, to cook the offering in earthen pots over open fires. This act of devotion is believed to bring blessings, prosperity, and fulfillment of desires. The festival holds great significance and has gained international recognition for its unique communal spirit and religious fervor. Attukal Pongala stands as a symbol of faith, unity, and devotion among the devotees of the goddess Bhagavathy.

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