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Attukal Pongala 2018 date in Trivandum, Kerala - Attukal Pongala Significance

Attukal Pongala ritual held at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Trivandrum, Kerala, is noted for the largest gathering of women in a single place on a single day in the world. Attukal Pongala 2018 date is March 2, Friday. Attukal Bhagavathy is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti and the Attukal Temple is known as the Sabarimala of women. The Pongala festival will commence when the idol of the Devi will be embellished with ‘kappu.’

Attukal Pongala ritual date and timing
  • Commences at 10:30 AM on  March 2. 
  • Pongala (ends) will be offered to Goddess at 14:30 hrs.
Attukal Pongala is held on the ninth day of the 10-day festival at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple.

Significance of Attukal Pongala

Without any persuasion or advertisement, more than a million women assemble in the Indian southern city of Trivandrum in Kerala on the day when Pooram Nakshatram and Poornima coincides in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February - March). Their sole aim is to cook rice with jaggery and coconut for Attukal Amma and seek the blessings of the Goddess who is the incarnation of Kannagi.

From a temple ritual, Attukal Pongala has now transformed into a celebration of womanhood. It is the celebration of Shakti – the one Mother, creator of all things or the primeval energy of the Universe that derives all divine and cosmic evolution. From her, everything that exists was born to her all things will return. All animate and inanimate are her creations and she sustains them. She has myriad forms - loving mother, girl, lover, sister, wife and the terrible that can annihilate. It is this Shakti, the great Mother goddess known by countless names, that is worshipped by millions of her representatives on the Earth on Attukal Pongala.

People believe that the Goddess showers her blessings on women and children. She suffered injustice and her suffering symbolizes the suffering of women of all ages. The goddess provides strength to overcome the numerous impediments. Children like her because she appeared in the form of a child and the Goddess has a special place for children in her mind.

Record books have been rewritten by this unique gathering of women. Some people call it the Kumbh Mela of South India and for some, the temple is the Sabarimala of women. Words often fail to catch true spirit of the thousands of women who sit on the roads of Trivandrum city making porridge for the Goddess.

Why do women gather in such large numbers? 

Most of the women make pongala to receive the blessings of Amma. Some do it for the welfare of her family. Some do it for favors received. Some do it for material gains. Some do it routinely. Each woman has a reason of her own. It is said that Attukal Amma never disappoints her devotees.

Story of Attukal Pongala

The goddess worshipped at Attukal temple is Kannagi who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.

Kannagi is the heroine of famous Tamil poem Silappathikaram - the Epic of the Anklet. The story has it that Kannagi’s husband Kovalan was unjustly put to death by the ruler of Madurai for stealing the anklet of the queen. Kannagi proves the innocence of her husband at the court and in anger sets the entire Madurai city on fire. She then leaves the city and on her way to Kodungalloor shrine stops at Attukal.

Legend has it that children and women of the area welcomed her and cooked for her porridge. The anger of Kannagi subsided and she appeared in the ever-loving motherly form. In memory of this event, women cook porridge for her every year.

Second Story

It is said that the Goddess appeared as a child before an elderly man who was performing his evening oblations at the Killi River. The child wanted to cross the river but the old man was surprised to see a small girl at that odd time. So, he helped her in crossing the river and decided to take her home.

A couple of minutes after reaching home, the young girl was not to be seen.

During that night, Goddess appeared in the dream of the old man and told him that she had drawn three lines in a sacred grove nearby and she would like to reside there.

Next morning, the old man went to the place and to his surprise found three marks at the suggested place. He built a small temple there and as time passed the Goddess brought prosperity to the region and the local people renovated the shrine to the present status.

How is Pongala Offered?


  • The 'Pongala' ritual comprises preparing ‘prasad’ for the deity. 
  • Women cook rice and jaggery in earthen pots and they offer it to the goddess. 
  • They also cook different type of sweet dishes – called ‘mandaputtu,’ ‘appam,’ ‘therali’ – made out of rice powder and jaggery. 
  • Coconut tree fronds are used to cook the ‘prasad.’

Women prepare the ‘prasad’ in the temple premises and in eight-kilometer radius around the temple. The heart of the Trivandrum city including the bus station, railway station, and main and arterial roads are filled with women on the day.

Attukal Pongala World’s Largest Gathering of Women

The capital city of the state of Kerala in IndiaTrivandrum, is transformed into a sea of women devotees annually on the Pooram Nakshatram day in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February – March). More than two million women participate in the Attukal Pongala ritual, which is the largest annual gathering of women in the world. All the women that have descended to Attukal in Trivandrum from various parts of KeralaIndia and around the world are here to cook Pongala to Attukal Devi, an incarnation of Shakti.

Guinness World Records have certified it as the largest annual gathering of women in the world.

Fifty years ago the Pongala ritual was a small festival celebrated by the families in and around the Attukal village. Slowly, the power and fame of the Devi started spreading around as people started to find solace and peace in the Devi. This incarnation of Shakti soon started to attract thousands of Shaktis – women devotees. Today, 2.5 million Shaktis arrive to propitiate the Supreme Shakti – which is the life force behind all animate and inanimate.

Goddess Attukal Amma

The goddess worshipped at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is Kannagi, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. There is a popular belief that the Goddess showers her blessings on women and children. The Goddess as an incarnation of Kannagi suffered injustice and her suffering symbolizes the suffering of women in all ages – and the goddess provides strength to overcome all the impediments in life.