Attukal Bhagavathy Temple

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'Ponkala' is the most important festival of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple.The offering of Ponkala is a very special temple practice in the southern part of Kerala. The ten-day- long celebration commences in the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (Feb - March) on the Karthika star. Ponkala ceremony is on the auspicious day of Pooram star which coincides with full moon. The festival commences with the musical rendering of the story of the Goddess (Kannaki Charitam) during the "Kappukettu ceremony". The story invokes the presence of Kodungallur Bhagavathy and the slaying of the Pandyan King. The song will continue for all the nine days preceding Ponkala. The event of the Goddess annihilating the Pandyan King is accompanied by much sound and fury of the temple drums and "Vaykurava" by devotees, immediately followed by the lighting of the hearths for the preparation of the offering for the Goddess. This festival commemorates the victory of Good over Evil, by the slaying of Pandyan King. Throughout the festival an atmosphere of celebration and festivity prevails and there are the solemn observances such as regular conduct of Bhajans, musical concerts, ballets depicting folk and temple arts etc. in the temple premises. This is symbolic of the philosophy that human and divine affairs are inter-woven so minutely in all its disquisitions. Processions of colourful floats of the deity from all around, carried with pomp and devotion by the devotees congregating in the temple premises provides a pleasing experience.

An atmosphere of festivity prevails everyday a the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple. Poojas arranged by devotees as also Bhajan, Kodi Archana, Leksharchana, Akhandanamajapam (continuous chanting of the names of Goddess) are conducted almost everyday. All important days of religious observances are celebrated here. Very important among them are:

1. Mandala Vratham - Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala

2. Vinayaka Chathurthi - Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy

3. Pooja Vaypu - Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham)

4. Sivarathri - Siva Pooja

5. Karthika - (Devi's star) in November - December - Karthika Deepam

6. Ayilya Pooja - Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent God and special rites.

7. Aiswarya Pooia - On all fullmoon (Pournarni) days

8. Nirayum Puthariyum (Ramayana Parayanam) - During the month of Karkidaka

9. Akhandanama Japam - 4th Sunday of every month

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