Attukal Pongala: Kerala's capital celebrates the 'largest congregation of women'

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Attukal Pongala: Kerala's capital celebrates the 'largest congregation of women'

Considered the biggest congregation of women in the world, Attukal Pongala is popularly referred to as the Sabrimala of women. (File photo)

Thiruvananthapuram:  The capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, is enveloped in smoke, as a sea of women devotees make their offerings. They are celebrating Attukal Pongala.

Considered the biggest congregation of women in the world, Attukal Pongala is popularly referred to as the Sabrimala of women. While the Attukal temple is overflowing with devotees, women across the city can also be found with their makeshift brick stoves and earthen pots, cooking their offerings. A sweet dish called "payasam" with rice, jaggery and banana are part of the offerings.

Vidya, a professional working in Delhi will celebrate her first Attukal Pongala in Kerala this year. "My family has been celebrating this for 40 years. I am excited that it's my first in Thiruvananthapuram". According to temple authorities 74 lakh women devotees are expected in the city today.

"More than 1,000 priests would be present for sprinkling of the 'theertha', while 936 persons would participate in the 'Kutthiyottam' rituals by various groups. The Purathezhunnallippu procession would have around 10 art forms and floats with the Attukal Bhagavathi's 'thidambu' (replica) to be carried by the elephant Pampady Rajan", temple authorities said.

Meanwhile, nearly 2000 police personnel, including 1000 women police personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth festivities this year.



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