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On most days, women in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, India, are not safe alone on the street after dark. But on the ninth day of Attukal Pongala, a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bhadrakali, four million women from all over the country fill 15 miles’ worth of the city’s streets for almost 24 hours. This spiritual gathering of females—considered to be the largest in the world—centers around an offering made to the goddess, who also goes by Attukal Amma (or “Mother”). Her desire? A simple rice pudding.

Made with clarified butter (ghee), coconut, rice, and an unrefined cane sugar called jaggery, the offering is inexpensive and possible for all castes of women to assemble. In fact, it was Dalit (an “untouchable” caste) women who first practiced the event. Every year, each participant chooses a new cooking vessel, usually a small clay pot. (Some even prepare more than one pot of pudding for the goddess, despite limited space and extreme heat.) Then, they gather to grate coconut, wash rice, chant, pray, and prepare.

At the sounding cue of a loudspeaker, each participant strikes a match, lights their fire, and prepares Pongala for Attukal Amma. It’s clear that the goddess has accepted the offering when the pot overflows. After the completion of the ceremony, celebrants share rice pudding, priests emerge to sprinkle holy water in clay pots, and men reappear to give weary pilgrims—their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives—rides home. 
www.atlasobscura.com/foods/pongala-offering-rice-pudding
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Thursday March 5th was an auspicious day for people in Thiruvanthapuram, capital city of Kerala, South India. The locals celebrated Attukal pongala ,Pongala is a sweet pudding usually made with rice, jaggery (unrefined sugar), ghee and coconut. It is made in new earthen pot. The earth pot and rice symbolize the earth along with water, fire, wind and sky (panchabuta, five elements of life and the various species originated by the combination of planetary globes and the five manifestations of nature namely air, water, fire, land and sky) are combined together in pongala.
With this I mark the beginning of a new Journey in search of the local street food delicacies and request you all to be part of it. Welcome on board amigos ,tune in for an eye catching and mouth watering odyssey. #kerala #foodiesofinstagram #attukalpongala #thiruvanathapuram #godsowncountry #pudding #festival #feast

Attukal Bhagavathy temple is one of the ancient temples of South India, popularly described as Sabarimala of the women, as women form the major portion of devotees. The Goddess of the temple - Bhagavathy is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver as well as destroyer of them all.
Listed in @tripadvisor as one of the Attractions to visit at Trivandrum.
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Attukal Pongala
Attukal Bhagavathy temple popularly known as the 'Sabarimala of women' at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala.This festival is said to be the largest annual gathering of women in the world.

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പൊങ്കാല festival attukal Devi temple
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