Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Kerala

Attukal Bhagavathy

The Attukal bhagavathy temple also known as the Sabarimala of Woman, is a small temple located in the city of Trivandrum. This temple is situated 2 kilometers to the south-east from Padmanabhaswamy temple. It holds a very special position among the ancient temples in Kerala. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Attukal devi (Parvathi devi), the supreme power who is believed to be the supreme preserver and destroyer, and capable of delivering all the wishes to her devotees.

The most famous festival celebrated here is the Attukal Pongala, which lasts for 10 days, starts with the musical recitation of Goddess’s (Parvathi) story and ends with the part of the Goddess and defeating the Pandya King. The story signifies victory of good over evil, light over darkness and justice over injustice and at the end of the recitation, begins the rituals for Attukal Pongala, which begins with making fire in the temple hearth. The fire will then be passed to the women ready to offer pongala(rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as well as other ingredients) and the same fire spreads to all the tens of thousands of women, who are present there to offer pongala to the Goddess and seek her blessings.. The rush of women is so intense that the Pongala ground spreads outside the temple premises and into the public roads, and the courtyards of houses, government offices, bus and train station, etc.... During the festival Kuthiyottam performed by boys below the age of 13 year, and Thalappoli is performed by the girls on the ninth day . The traditional dressing of young girls is major attraction who hold a Thaalam with flowers, a lighted oil lamp, and offerings to the Goddess Attukal Amma.

The Architectural style of the temple is a combination of both Kerala and Tamil styles of architecture. The Front part of the Gopurams are designed with beautiful icons from the story of goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) .The Exterior of the Attukal temple are covered with numerous sculptures of gods, Hindu gods, goddesses ,Goddess Parvathi and the stories of Dassavataram. The temple doors and internal wall of the temple are covered with several sculptures of Gods like Lord Ganapathi , Lord Siva, etc.

The most important and attractive feature of this temple is the Attukal Pongala festival itself because it has reached the Guinness Book of Records for largest annual gathering of Women. Every year hundreds of people from all over world come to seek the blessings and witness this amazing event at this time of festival.