|Proper name||Attukal Bhagavathy Temple|
|Primary deity||Attukal Bhagavathi|
The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a Hindu religious shrine at Attukal in Kerala, India. The Goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) is the main deity in this temple. The temple is renowned for the annual Attukal Pongala festival, in which over three million women participate. 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. According to the Attukal Temple Trust, around 4.5 million devotees are expected to attend the pongala in 2016.Attukal Temple is situated within 2 kilometres of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
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The Goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) is the main deity in this temple. The mythology behind the temple, relates to the story of Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, son of a wealthy merchant. After marriage, Kovalan met a dancer Madhavi and spent all his riches on her forgetting his wife. But when he was penniless, he went back to Kannagi. The only precious thing left to be sold was Kannagi's pair of anklets. They went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. But an anklet was stolen from the Queen which looked similar to Kannagi's. When Kovalan tried to sell it, he was mistaken for the theft and beheaded by the king's soldiers.
Kannagi got infuriated when she heard the news and rushed to the King with the second pair of anklet. She broke one of the anklets and it contained rubies while the Queen's contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse came true. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the Goddess of the city appeared before her.
It is said that on her way to Kodungallur, Kannagi passed Attukal. She took the form of a little girl. An old man was sitting on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him whether he could help her cross it. Surprised to find the young girl alone, he took her home. But she disappeared. She came back in his sleep and asked him to build a temple where he found 3 golden lines in his grove. He went ahead and did the same, and it is said that this is at the location of the present Attukal temple.
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Attukal Pongala is the main festival of this temple. Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam is a 10 days festival which falls on February - March every year (Malayalam month of Kumbham). The festival begins on the Karthika star with the traditional Kappukettu and Kudiyiruthu ceremony, the idol of Devi, is embellished with Kappu (Bangles). The 9th day of the festival is the major attraction, The Attukal Pongala day and the festival will conclude with the Kuruthitharpanam at 10th day night.
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. 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. Only women are allowed to participate in the Pongala ritual. 
The other festivals in this temple are:
- Mandala Vratham - Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala
- Vinayaka Chathurthi - Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy
- Pooja Vaypu - Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham)
- Sivarathri - Siva Pooja
- Karthika - Karthika Deepa
- Ayilya Pooja - Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent God and special rites
- Aiswarya Pooja - On all full moon (Pournami) days
- Nirayum Puthariyum (Ramayana Parayanam) - During the month of Karkadakam
- Akhandanama Japam - 4th Sunday of every month
- "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 2009-02-19.
- Lekshmy, Rajeev (2-06-2016). "Attukal Amma". https://harpercollins.co.in. HarperCollins. Retrieved 05-06-2016. Check date values in:
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- from the official temple website attukaldevi . com/pl/news-letter.htm
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Attukal Temple.|
- A book on Attukal Amma by Lekshmy Rajeev
- http://www.attukal.org/ - Website of the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple.
- Attukal Devi Temple Festival Details – Attukal Devi Temple Festival Details
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120618044738/http://www.p4panorama.com:80/panos/Attukal_temple/index.html Attukal temple panoramic view
- http://www.epw.in/system/files/pdf/2014_49/17/Attukal_Pongala_Youth_Clubs_Neighbourhood_Groups_and_Masculine_Performance_of_Religiosity.pdf - Article on the gender politics of the Attukal Pongala in the Economic and Political Weekly