Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, located in Aattukal, Kerala, is one of the oldest shrines of South India. The presiding deity of the temple is Attukal Bhagavathy, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. The majestic idol having four arms, each holding weapons of destruction, is worshipped by thousands of devotees, especially women. Located 2 km away from Thiruvananthapuram (the capital city of Kerala), the temple is popularly known ‘Sabarimala of Women’. The temple attracts lakhs of female devotees on the occasion of Attukal Pongala, which is organized here annually.
Apart from Aattukal Bhagavathy, the idols of Goddess Kali, Lord Shiva and many other deities are also worshipped in Attukal Devi Temple. At doors and internal corridors, there are numerous statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganpathi. It is considered that a pilgrimage tour to Thiruvanathapuram is incomplete without visiting Attukal. The temple is managed by Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust, which takes care of its renovations. Daily, many holy rituals are performed here from the morning till evening.
An interesting story has been associated with the establishment of Attukal Temple. It is believed that the temple was constructed by Mulluveettil Family. As per the popular legend, one day, a young girl appears in front of the head of the Mulluveettil Family and asks for help in crossing the river. Enchanted with her divine aura, the head of the family not only helps her while crossing the river, but also takes her to his home. When all the family members were busy in preparation of treating the guests, surprisingly she disappears. At that night, the head of the family dreams of the girl who asks him to build an abode for her on a holy ground of shrubs and herbs, on a consecrated spot marked by three lines. He follows her instructions and goes to the told place and finds the spot. Without wasting time, he starts the construction of the temple.
The architecture of Attukal Temple is very appealing. It can captivate anyone with its aesthetical charm. A fine blend of Kerala and Tamil Nadu style of architecture, its exteriors is carved with various holy figures of Hindu God and Goddess. The temple offers special arrangements to accommodate its devotees. It has its own auditorium. At the temple counter, golden lockets having the image of god are sold. Apart from the daily pooja and rituals, various festivals are organized in its premises. Attukal Pongala is the most important one among those festivals.
Attukal Pongala is the grand temple festival of Attukal. It is a 10-day celebration, beginning from the Karthika star of the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham and ends with a holy offering called Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the ninth day, the very popular Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam is organized. The celebration is attended by devotees from all strata of society. On the occasion, lakhs of women offer Pongala (porridge made of rice, jaggery, coconut, nuts and raisins) in earthen pots, within the temple and its premises. It is believed that offering Pongala to Attukalamma on this auspicious occasion removes all the sins of the devotees.
How to Reach:
Attukal is located at Manacaud, which is 2 km away from Thiruvananthapuram and nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport at a distance of 5 km to the west.
Manacaud is easily connected with Thiruvananthapuram. So Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is 2 km away from it.
One can reach Attukal Temple by boarding private and KSRTC buses plying at the Kovalam route from East Fort cross through Manacaud. The temple is located 2 km away from Thiruvananthapuram Central Bus Station.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, located in Manacaud (Trivandrum/Thiruvananthapuram), is one of the most visited temples in Kerala. Read about Aattukal Temple, in the article.
|Location||Manacaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala|
|Nearest Airport||Thiruvananthapuram International Airport|
|Nearest Railway Station||Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station|
|Best Time to Visit||February-March|