Kuthiyottam is an important ritual held during the annual temple festival and Pongala at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Boys below the age of 12 perform Kuthiyottam ritual. The ritual is performed to please the Goddess and get her blessings. Attukal Temple Kuthiyottam Vratam begins on February 17, 2016.
Bookings for participating in the ritual begin well in advance.
The young boys represent the wounded soldiers of Goddess Mahishasura Mardini.
On the third day of the annual temple festival these young boys receive the prasadam (offering) from the temple priest and start a seven day penance to purify their body and mind.
For the Kuthiyottam ritual they have to pass through rigorous physical and mental discipline such as sleeping in mat, observing strict diet restrictions, staying in the temple etc.
Besides these, the boys have to undergo such disciplines like prostrating 1008 times before the deity after their morning and evening oblations.
The Kuthiyottam is offered during the Attukal Pongalafestival.