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World's Biggest Women Festival - Attukal Pongala from February 26

By Vishnudas

World's Biggest Women Festival - Attukal Pongala from February 26

World's Biggest Women Festival - Attukal Bhagavathy Pongala

 The fifth year celebration of Attukal Bhagavathy Pongala is all set to take off in the city on February 26. Attukal Bhagavathy is considered an incarnation of Kannagi of Silapathikaram and believed to be a powerful deity.“The events related to Devi Kannagi have high influence in the tradition and culture of Tamil Nadu and Kerala,” said K S Dev Anand, one of the organisers of the celebration. “There are four temples for Kannagi —  three in Kerala and one in Batticalao in eastern Sri Lanka,” he added.According to legend, Kannagi, on her journey after reducing Madurai to ashes, proceeded to Chera Nadu (Kerala). En route, her feet touched the cold waters of the Kili in Trivandrum. Thus the place came to be known as Attukal (Atturu – river; Kal – feet).Kannagi calmed down and, feeling hungry, looked around for food. Seeing a pandaram cooking food for himself, Kannagi approached him for food. The poor pandaram was happy to offer the simple boiled rice, Ponga Choru, to the Devi and she ate it. Eventually, a temple came up at the spot.In 1997, around 18 lakh women congregated in the temple and this year the organisers hope to increase it to 28 lakh, making it a Guinness world record for the largest congregation.Dev Anand said the people of Tamil Nadu were not aware of the existence of such a temple for Kannagi in Trivandrum until March 2009.“As a 25-lakh strong congregation performs Pongala in a radius of 12 km around the temple, it is called the Sabarimala of women,” he said.The Pongala celebrations, started in the city in 2009, are scheduled to be performed at ICL Home Town, Noombal, on February 26.Devotees, interested in participating, may get in touch with the organisers. For details, call 2649447 or 9444642407.Source:

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