Mahalakshmi Temple in East Ham Welcomes Devotees for Attukal Pongala Celebration

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On Sunday, February 25th, 2024, devotees of Attukal Amma in the UK converged at the London Mahalakshmi Temple in East Ham for a sacred celebration of Attukal Pongala, commencing at 8:30 am.

Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam, renowned as an exclusive women’s festival, holds a distinguished place in religious gatherings, particularly in Kerala. This festival has etched its name in history, securing a prestigious mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s largest religious gathering of women. Often revered as the ‘Sabarimala of Women,’ the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple embodies the essence of devotion and empowerment for its female devotees.

The ceremony of Attukal Pongala holds deep spiritual significance, symbolising devotion and gratitude to the goddess Attukal Amma. Devotees offered Pongala, a special dish made of rice, jaggery, coconut, and other ingredients, as a token of their reverence and prayers for blessings.

Organisers extended a heartfelt invitation to all devotees to partake in this sacred event, promising a blend of devotion, culture, and community spirit, fostering unity among attendees. Attendees were encouraged to arrive early and witness the auspicious beginnings of the ceremony.

Archana tickets, priced at £10, inclusive of fruit, coconut, and a ceremonial lamp, were made available for purchase at the temple. Additionally, attendees were requested to bring flowers and fruits as offerings, enriching the spiritual ambiance of the celebration.

The festivities at Mahalakshmi Temple in East Ham were elevated with the melodious beats of Chenda Melam and Panchari Melam, led by Vinod of Navadhara School of Music, further enhancing the spiritual atmosphere of the event.

Pongala, a sweet pudding typically made with rice, jaggery, ghee, and coconut, holds symbolic significance. Prepared in new earthen pots, it symbolizes the essence of life and the five elements of nature.

In Kerala, the entire area within a radius of about 5 kilometers around the Attukal Devi Temple transforms into a dedicated ground, where people from all walks of life gather to observe the Pongala ritual. It’s a testament to the enduring devotion and cultural significance of this tradition.