Attukal Devi Temple Festivals

Important Festivals celebrated at Attukal Devi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Attukal Temple is one of the main Bhagavathy Temples in India. The temple is famous for the Pongala Festival in Kumbha month (February - March), which attracts lakhs of women devotees from all over the world. Below is the list of main festivals celebrated in the temple. The 2022 Attukal Pongala Festival is on 17 February, Thursday. 

Attukal Devi Temple Festivals

Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam

This is a ten-day festival which begins on the Karthika star of the Malayalam month of Makaram - Kumbham (February - March) and ends with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam at night. Pongala Mahotsavam takes place on the ninth day of the festival. Pongala (Ponkala) means to boil over. This festival is the traditional offering of things to the Goddess. Irrespective of caste and religion, people in large numbers throng to Attukal Temple premises to offer pongala to the Goddess. Open fields, roads, commercial institutions, premises of Government offices are used for observing Pongala rituals. Pongala is sweet rice, prepared in earthen pots with rice, jaggery and coconut and offered to the Goddess. The festival is restricted only for women. Another attractive feature is the offering called Vilakku kettu. It is a huge structure made of pith, decorated with shining paper and garlands. Along with the image of the goddess, this is taken to the temple in a procession. The leaf of tender coconut and plantain leaf-stalks are also used for making these.

Kuthiyottam and Thalappoli

These rituals are performed during the Pongala day. Kuthiyottam is performed by boys below the age of 13 years and Thalappoli by girls. The boys undergo a seven-day kuthiyotta vritham (penance), starting from third day of the festival. The vratham includes some disciplinary activities such as sleeping on the floor, following diet restrictions and staying in the temple. They also bow before the Goddess 1008 times, after morning and evening oblations. The boys symbolize the injured soldiers of the Goddess Mahishasuramardhini (Goddess Mahishasura Mardhini).

Attukal Devi Temple Festivals


Thalappoli is performed by girls on the ninth day (pongala day). Major attraction is the traditional dressing of young girls who hold a thaalam (a round tray) with flowers, a lighted oil lamp, and offerings to the Goddess Attukal Amma. This is done to get the blessings of the Goddess with health, wealth and happiness.

The Divine Procession

Attukkal Bhagavathy is taken in procession to the Sastha Temple at Manacaud, in the early morning, accompanied by the Kuthiyottam boys. The grand procession itself bestows a festival fervor with lighting, floats and colorful decorations on either side of the road. Some rituals are held at the Sastha Temple and the Attukal deity returns to her place where she is received by the priest for the morning rituals. The ten-day festival concludes with Kuruthi Tharpanam, a pooja, held at night.

Apart from this, there are also other festivals such as Mandala Vratham - festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala, Vinayaka Chathurthi, Navratri, Shivarathri, Karthika Deepam (November – December), Ayilya Pooja – Milk and flowers offered to serpent God, Aiswarya Pooia - On all full moon (Pournami) days, Nirayum Puthariyum (Ramayana Parayanam) - during the month of Karkidaka, and Akhandanama Japam - 4th Sunday of every month.


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