THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thousands of women offered ‘pongala’ at the famed Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Devi Temple here on Tuesday. Devotees lit the ‘pongala’ hearths chanting prayers soon after Puliannur Mana Anujan Namboothiripad, the temple ‘thantri’, lit the ‘pandara aduppu’ at 10.30 am. The number of women participating in the annual festival has gone up compared to past years, temple officials said.
At 2.30 pm, the ceremonial sword of the Devi was brought to the ‘pandarakkalam’ in a ritual procession and the ‘pongala tharpanam’ performed. As many as 150 priests sprayed the holy water on the thousands of hearths that stretch for kilometres around the temple.
The temple had made elaborate arrangements for the pongala with the help of the police, KSRTC, KWA, Health Department and other government agencies.