ENARADA, Mysore, February 16, 2014:
At the same time when tens of thousands of women took part at the annual Attukal Pongala festival in Thiruvananthapuram, hundreds of devotees in Mysore too conducted the similar ritual here.
On Sunday, when the rituals began at 10.30am in one of the largest religious congregation of women in the world, seeking the blessings of Attukkal Bhagavathy by making the ritualistic ‘Pongala’ offering in Kerala, devotees in Mysore too started preparing ‘Pongala’ near Rajarajeshwari temple in south Mysore.
The legend has it that after destruction of ancient city of Madurai in Tamilnadu, Kannaki (an incarnation of Parvathy, the consort of Paramasiva), left the city and reached Kerala via Kanyakumari and on the way to Kodungalloor took a sojourn at Attukal.
The Goddess in the temple of Attukal is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver as well as destroyer of them all. The temple is known as Sabarimala pilgrimage for women, as only women are allowed to participate in the ten day rituals.
On the ninth day of the festival the world famous Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam takes place. Devotees cook their offering using rice, jaggery and coconut in a traditional way. Devotees wearing new dresses assembles with earthen pots/ metal vessels, Bricks (for the hearths) and fire wood to prepare delicious ‘Pongala’ for offering to Godess.
The ritual which was confined to kerala and some parts of Tamilnadu earlier is spreading in neighboring states as well. Devotees in Bangalore too cooked ‘pongala’ to please the Godess.