Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a renowned Hindu temple situated in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy, who is also known as Kannaki, the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is one of the most visited temples in Kerala and is famous for its annual Attukal Pongala festival, which holds a Guinness World Record for being the largest single gathering of women in the world.
History and Legend: The temple has a rich history that dates back to several centuries. The legend behind the temple is associated with the story of Kannaki, who is believed to have lived in Tamil Nadu during the Sangam period. She was the wife of Kovalan, a wealthy merchant, who was wrongly accused of stealing by the king’s court and was sentenced to death. Kannaki, who was outraged by the injustice, went on to prove her husband’s innocence by revealing the true thief and setting fire to the city of Madurai. She then left Tamil Nadu and came to Kerala, where she settled in the Attukal region. The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple was built in her honour, and Kannaki was worshipped as the presiding deity.
Architecture: The temple architecture is a blend of Kerala and Tamil Nadu styles. The temple complex is spread over several acres of land, and the main temple is built in the form of a pyramid. The temple walls are adorned with beautiful murals that depict the stories of Goddess Bhagavathy and Kannaki. The temple has several other shrines dedicated to various deities, including Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Murugan.
Attukal Pongala Festival: The Attukal Pongala festival is a ten-day long celebration that takes place in February or March every year. It is celebrated in honour of Goddess Bhagavathy, and thousands of women from across the world gather at the temple to offer Pongala, a sweet dish made of rice, jaggery, coconut, and other ingredients. The festival is famous for its unique customs, and it holds a Guinness World Record for being the largest single gathering of women in the world. The festival is a must-visit for tourists who want to witness the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
Visiting Information: Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, and it is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport, which is located at a distance of 6 km from the temple. The nearest railway station is the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, which is located at a distance of 3 km from the temple. The temple is open to visitors from 4:30 am to 11:30 am and from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The best time to visit the temple is during the Attukal Pongala festival, which takes place in February or March every year.
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