Fri, Feb 22 04:25 PM
New Delhi: Women have started pouring in to participate in Friday’s Pongala festival at Attukal temple in. The festival is also famed as ‘Women’s Sabarimala’ for attracting one of the world’s biggest female congregations.
The occasion attracts over a million devotees on a single day. Women prepare the prasadam , which consists of rice, jaggery, coconut and spices to be offered to the Goddess, to invoke her blessings for peace and prosperity.
The festival entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1997 because of the sheer number of women it attracts every year.
This year, the Attukal BhagavathI Temple Trust Authorities are expecting around 25 lakh devotees.
According to a legend, ‘pongala’ is closely linked with Tamil epic Silappadikaram. It
commemorates the hospitality accorded to Kannagi by women in Attukal while she was on way to Kodungallur nearafter destroying the city of to avenge the injustice done to her husband Kovilan.
The Temple Trust authorities said 2.5 million devotees are expected this year and elaborate crowd-management and security arrangements had been made with the help of government agencies and voluntary outfits.