Thiruvananthapuram: The Attukal Pongala festival, which is often named one of the world's biggest gatherings of women, will begin on February 17 this year. The revered ritual, celebrated at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple here, culminates on February 25 with the Pongala offering. If you are planning to take part in it, here are the details of its puja timings, events, and more.
Kappukettu and other pujas
The kappukettu ritual or adorning the idol with gold bangles, is at 8 am on February 17. It marks the beginning of the grand festivities. On all days, except February 23, the day begins with Abhishekam at 5.30 am followed by Deeparadhana at 6.05 am, Usha puja at 6.40 am, Usha Sreebali at 6.50 am, Kalakabishekam at 7.15 am, Pantheeradi Puja at 8.30 am and Ucha Puja at 11.30 am. In the afternoon, the Deeparadhana is at noon and the Ucha Sreebali is at 12.30 pm.
Meanwhile, the rituals in the evening begin with Deeparadhana at 6.45 pm followed by Bhagavathy Seva at 7.15 pm. The Athazha Puja is at 9 pm while Deeparadhana is at 9.15 pm and Athazha Sreebali at 9.30 pm. The day ends with a Deeparadhana ritual at midnight. Devotees can enjoy Thottampattu or singing ballads praising the Goddess on all days from February 17 onwards.
The cultural events will be inaugurated at 6 pm on February 17 by film actress Anusree. Meanwhile, the Attukal Amba Award would be given to noted writer George Onakkoor. The special vrutham for the young boys who have vowed to perform the kuthiyottam ritual begins at 9.30 am on February 19. Aduppuvettu or making the scared hearth is at 10.30 am on February 25. The Pongala offering would be held at 2.30 pm on the same day.
Meanwhile, choral kuthu ceremony for the kuthiyottam boys would be at 7.30 pm followed by the grand procession to the Manakkad Shasta temple at 11 pm. The procession returns on the next morning at 8 am. The idol of the Goddess would then be welcomed back into the sanctum sanctorum. The kappazhikkal ritual or removing the bangle that was adorned on the idol on the first day of the festival is at 9.45 pm on February 26. The annual Attukal Pongala festival ends with the kuruthi ritual at 12.30 am on February 27.