Thiruvananthapuram’s Attukal Bhagavathy Temple will see thousands of women devotees gather to celebrate ‘Aattukal Pongala’ on Tuesday to offer ‘Pongala’ to the deity.
Unlike the last two years, this year ‘Pongala’ will be celebrated without restrictions related to COVID-19 due to which a large number of women are expected to turn up. ‘Attukal Pongala’ is considered to be one of the largest religious gatherings of women in the world, for which ‘Pongala’ made of a mixture of rice, jaggery and grated coconut is cooked in earthen or metal utensils on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram. Brick stoves have been made.
Known as the “Women’s Sabarimala”, making ‘Pongala’ during this annual festival at Thiruvananthapuram’s Attukal Temple is considered a sacred ritual for women. Only women can take part in this ritual.
In view of the large number of women turning up this time following the COVID-19 pandemic, police and fire department have made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the festival does not take place without any untoward incident or inconvenience to the public.
The police have imposed restrictions on the movement of heavy and goods vehicles in Thiruvananthapuram city on March 6 and 7. Devotees have also been instructed not to keep stoves on the footpath. They have also been asked to leave way for emergency vehicles while making stoves on the roads.
The festival was recorded in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ in 2009 for being the world’s largest religious gathering of women, when it was attended by 2.5 million women in a single day.
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