Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Guide – Timings, Dress Code, and History

Attukal-Bhagavathy-Temple Pongala 2023

The majority of devotees who visit the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, an ancient South Indian temple, are women, which has earned it the nickname “Sabarimala of the Women”. The temple’s deity is known as the Supreme Mother, who is revered for creating all living beings, as well as being responsible for their preservation and destruction. Visiting the Attukal amma shrine, which is dedicated to the Supreme Mother, is considered an essential part of the pilgrimage for many worshippers who visit the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple to pay homage to Lord Vishnu.

The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple History

Legend has it that Vishnumaya took on the form of Bhagavathy in order to protect good and vanquish evil, particularly during the Kaliyuga era. As a result, the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is regarded as a sacred place where devotees can seek the blessings of the Supreme Mother to overcome challenges and achieve prosperity in their lives. Despite being thousands of years old, the temple continues to draw a large number of devotees who come from all parts of the country to offer their prayers and seek blessings.

Attukal Pongala Photo

According to legend, Kannaki, the famous heroine of Chilapathikaram, written by the Tamil Poet Elenkovadikal, is believed to have been divinized into Attukal Bhagavathy. It is said that after the ancient city of Madurai was destroyed, Kannaki left and traveled to Kerala via Kanyakumari. During her journey to Kodungalloor, she made a stop at Attukal.

Parvathy, the consort of Paramasiva, is believed to have incarnated as Kannaki. The all-powerful and benevolent Attukal Bhagavathy reigns supreme at Attukal and cares for her devotees like a mother does for her children. With awe and reverence, thousands of devotees from far and near flock to the temple to prostrate before the Goddess and seek redress for their afflictions and agonies.

Attukal Temple Famous Festival

February/March -10 day Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam
October – Pooja Vaypu
December– Mandala Vratham

Attukal Pongala 2023

The Attukal Temple’s main festival is Pongala, which is also known as the “Sabarimala of Women.” This ten-day-long celebration is observed during the Malayalam calendar of Makaram-Kumbham (February and March in English) on the pious Karthika Star and the full moon day of the Pooram star. Attukal Pongala has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest gathering of women in any festival across the globe, with 2.5 million devotees in 2009. At a radius of 8-10 km, women devotees gather to cook payasam for the Devi.

Sabarimala temple

The Pongala Mahotsavam, which is the most important festival of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, is a special temple practice prevalent in the southern part of Kerala and some parts of Tamilnadu. It is a ten-day program that begins on the Karthika star of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March) and concludes with the sacrificial offering known as Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the ninth day of the festival, the world-famous Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place.

During the Pongala festival, a 5 km radius around the temple, including homes, fields, roads, commercial buildings, and government offices, becomes a sacred space. Lakhs of women devotees from Kerala and beyond gather here to perform the Pongala rituals. This women-only ceremony is reminiscent of North India’s Kumbh Mela and attracts huge crowds to Thiruvananthapuram.

Attukal Pongala Mythological Background

According to the legend, the Goddess Bhagavathy appeared to a devout follower of the Mulluveettil family. As the head of the family was performing his daily rituals in the Killi river, a young girl approached him and asked for his help to cross the river. The head of the family was awestruck by the girl’s captivating appearance. Not only did he help her cross the river, but he also took her to his nearby home. However, the girl disappeared as the family was preparing to welcome her, only to reappear in the old man’s dream that very night.

Attukal temple Mythology

In the dream, she instructed him to build a temple for her on a sacred spot marked by three lines in the nearby shrub and herb grove (kavu). To his astonishment, the old man found the same three marks on the ground at the spot she had indicated. Promptly, he built a temple there. Years later, the local devotees renovated it and installed a beautiful icon of the deity with four arms, each bearing a weapon of destruction. The temple was consecrated by the high priest of the Badarinath Temple. As a result, the Attukal Temple has become a popular destination for devotees seeking blessings from the Goddess Bhagavathy.

Attukal Pongala Important Rituals

The Kuthiyottam puja, during which 12-year-old boys offer prayers to the deity, is an integral part of the Attukal Pongala festival celebrated in Kerala, India. The boys hope to receive blessings from the divine Goddess attukal amma, as they act as the imaginary soldiers of the Goddess Mahishasura Marddini. In order to maintain the purity of their mind and body, they lead a righteous life for seven days by sleeping on floor mats and consuming boiled vegetables. On the third day of the Pongala puja, they receive Prasadam and begin their seven-day-long Vratam to please the deity attukal amma.

Moreover, the Thalappoli ritual is also performed during the Attukal Pongala festival by girls aged 12 years. Dressed in traditional Malayalam clothing, they hold the Thalappoli and perform the puja every morning to seek blessings of wealth, happiness, and beauty from the divine mother attukal amma. This ritual is an important cultural celebration that highlights the traditions of the region.

The devotees carry wonderfully ornamented structures bearing the idols and pictures of Attukal Devi on their heads, accompanied by Chendamelam music during the Vilakkukettu Nercha that reaches the temple from the 1st to the 9th day of the Pongala festival. Watching the Vilakkukettu is a feast for the eyes.

They start the Divine Procession from the Attukal temple and reach the Sastha Temple at Manacaud, where they perform necessary pujas. During the procession, an elephant carries the Attukal Bhagavathy idol, and thousands of devotees attend to receive the blessings of their deity.

Attukal Temple Timings – Darsan Info

Attukal Temple timings: From 4.30 AM to 12.30 PM and from 5.00 PM to 8.30 PM

Day Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Timing 4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

4:30 am – 12:30 pm

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Devotees must obtain a coupon from the counter to perform any Pooja inside the Attukal Temple. The ten-day-long Pongala Mahotsav begins every year in the Attukal Bhagvathy temple in February-March on the star of Karthika. During the ten days of festivities, processions, bhajans, and musical and folk concerts celebrate the temple’s divinity, and rituals like Kappukettu, Vilakkukettu, Thalapoli, Kuthiyottam, etc., are performed by devotees to invoke the blessings of the Goddess.

On the 9th day of the festival, the most famous ceremony of the Attukal Temple, the Attukal Pongala, takes place. The whole city fills with a frenzy of devotion to the Goddess as women from the state and beyond gather with firewood, earthen pots, rice, jaggery, coconut, and other offerings to prepare their offerings to the Goddess. Then, the chief priest of the temple signals for lighting the hearth. The flames spread across the 7km radius around the temple to the multitude of women devotees’ hearths, creating a truly divine atmosphere. The air is filled with the aroma of the cooked offerings, along with the women’s prayers to the Attukal amma. This entire event creates an exclusive and extraordinary experience for everyone involved.

Each passing year sees an increase in the number of women who prepare offerings to the Goddess, making it the largest gathering of women for a religious activity.

Attukal  Live Weather Updates


Attukaltemple Darsan Dresscode

To maintain the sanctity of the place, devotees are recommended to dress modestly and wear clean clothes. For women, it is suggested to wear traditional attire such as sarees, salwar kameez, or Pavadai.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How do I get to Attukal temple?

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram, about 3 km away
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 5 km away.

How do I get the address and phone number of Attukal temple?

Address: Secretary, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Attukal, Manacaud Post, Attukal Temple Premises, Thiruvananthapuram – Kerala, India,695009.
Phone Numbers:
Temple +91-471-2456456
Vazhipaud Billing Counter: 0471-2778932
Vazhipaud Prasadam Distribution Section: 0471-2778931
Office: +91-471- 2463130, 2554488 (Office)
Online Vazhipad booking section: +91-471-2778900, 9447071456
Room/Dormitory booking section: +91-471-2778917

Is there any dress code to be followed while visiting Attukal Amma Temple?

Yes, visitors are expected to dress modestly and cover their shoulders and legs. Men are required to wear a dhoti or mundu, while women are expected to wear sarees or long skirts. Shorts, sleeveless tops, and tight-fitting clothes are not allowed.


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