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Attukal Temple

Coordinates: 8°28′11.5″N 76°57′19.8″E / 8.469861°N 76.955500°E / 8.469861; 76.955500
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Attukal Temple
FestivalsAttukal Pongala
Country India
Attukal Temple is located in Kerala
Attukal Temple
Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Attukal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Geographic coordinates8°28′11.5″N 76°57′19.8″E / 8.469861°N 76.955500°E / 8.469861; 76.955500[2]
Elevation32.93 m (108 ft)
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Image of Attukkal Bhagavathy venerated on Attukal Pongala.

The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a Hindu shrine located at Attukal in Kerala, India. It is situated near the heart of the city, two kilometres away from the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram. The goddess of the temple is identified with Bhadrakali, mounted over a vetala. She is also identified with Kannagi, the heroine of Ilango Adigal's epic Cilappatikaram.

The temple is renowned for the annual Attukal Pongal festival, in which over three million women participate.[1] A festival that has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity, the Attukal Pongala continues to draw millions of women with each passing year. Devotees believe that all of their wishes are fulfilled by the goddess, whose worship can allow them to attain salvation. The goddess is often venerated as all three goddesses of the Tridevi: Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati.



One regional legend of the temple is based on the legend of Kannagi in the Cilappatikaram. According to the epic, Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, the son of a wealthy merchant. After their wedding, Kovalan met a dancer named Madhavi and spent all his riches on her, neglecting his wife. When he became penniless, he returned to Kannagi. The only precious item left to be sold was Kannagi's pair of anklets. The couple went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. Coincidentally, an anklet had been stolen from the queen of Madurai, which resembled Kannagi's. When Kovalan tried to sell one of Kannagi's anklets to the king, he was mistaken for the thief, and was beheaded by the king's soldiers without a trial.

Kannagi was infuriated when she heard the news and rushed to the king with her other anklet. She broke one of the anklets, which contained rubies, while the queen's had contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai to burn, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse was fulfilled. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the goddess of the city appeared before her.

According to regional legend, it is said that on her way to Kodungallur, Kannagi passed Attukal. She assumed the form of a girl. An old man sat on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him if he could help her cross it. Surprised, to find the young girl alone, he took her home. After some time, she disappeared. She appeared in his dream and asked him to build a temple on the spot he found three golden lines in his grove. The old man did so, which is regarded to be the location of the present Attukal temple.

A different legend identifies the goddess of Attukal as Bhadrakali, who emerged from the third eye of Shiva to slay the asura king Daruka.

Pongala festival


Attukal Pongala is the main.[2] Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam is a 10 days festival which falls on February – March every year (Malayalam month of Kumbham).[3] The festival begins on the Karthika star with the traditional Kappukettu and Kudiyiruthu ceremony, the idol of Devi, is embellished with Kappu (Bangles).

Worship during Attukal Pongala at Tippu Street, South Fort, Thiruvananthapuram.[4]

The 9th day of the festival, 'Pooram day' is the major attraction, The Attukal Pongala day and the festival will conclude with the Kuruthitharpanam at 10th day makam star night.[5]

Attukal pongala

Millions of women gather every year in the month of Kumbham around this temple and prepare Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as well as other ingredients) in the open in small pots to please the Goddess Kannaki.[6] Pongala (literally means to boil over) is a ritualistic offering of a sweet dish, consisting of rice porridge, sweet brown molasses, coconut gratings, nuts and raisins. It is done as an offering to the presiding deity of the temple – the Goddess – popularly known as Attukal Amma. Goddess Attukal devi is believed to fulfill their wishes and provide prosperity.[7]

worship during attukal pongala at sree padmanabhaswamy temple

Other festivals


The other festivals in this temple are:

  1. Mandala Vratham – Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala
  2. Vinayaka Chathurthi – Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy
  3. Navaratri and Pooja Vaypu – Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham)
  4. Sivarathri – Siva Pooja
  5. Karthika – Karthika Deepa
  6. Ayilya Pooja – Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent God and special rites
  7. Aiswarya Pooja – On all full moon (Pournami) days
  8. Nirayum Puthariyum (Ramayana Parayanam) – During the month of Karkadakam
  9. Akhandanama Japam – 4th Sunday of every month

See also



  1. ^ "Guinness World Records News – Let's hear it for the ladies!". Guinness World Records. March 2008. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  2. ^ Attukal Pongala date and time [1]
  3. ^ "Annual festival begins at Attukal temple". The Hindu. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  4. ^ Lekshmy, Rajeev (2 June 2016). "Attukal Amma". harpercollins.co.in. HarperCollins. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  5. ^ from the official temple website attukaldevi . com/pl/news-letter.htm
  6. ^ "When is Attukal Pongala: Date, significance and all you need to know". indiatoday.in. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Attukal Pongala, the festival at Attukal Bhagavathi temple".