THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The famed Pongala Festival at the Sree Udiyannoor Devi Temple will begin on Tuesday. Hundreds of women devotees will offer the Pongala at 10.35 am on Saturday. Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar will inaugurate a conference at 5 pm on Tuesday to mark the official commencement of festivities. Mayor K Chandrika will preside over the function. On Saturday, the Sree Udiyannooramma Award will be presented to Dr M Krishnan Nair by Chief Secretary K Jayakumar.
Former minister M Vijayakumar will preside over the function. On May 3, Uthradom Thirunal Marthandavarma, head of the Travancore royal family, will inaugurate a cultural meeting. The same day, the ‘arattu’ procession will be taken out. The festival flag will be lowered at 1 am on May 4. Various cultural programmes, including ‘bhajans’ and classical music recitals, are also planned in connection with the festivities.