THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With only one day remaining for the mega event, the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple authorities have expressed the hope that there would be an increase in the flow of devotees from the neighbouring states to offer Pongala. The visit of devotees from the neighbouring staetes, who have been coming to the temple in groups from the beginning of the fstival, makes the Temple Trust authorities expect a bigger participation from them to offer Pongala.
This time, the authorities are in a move to give more importance to the ‘Kuthiyottam’ procession. “The 895 boys participating in the Kuthiyottam ritual would be divided into groups having five boys each. A policeman will be in charge of each group. Every year, after Pongala is offered, some people have a feeling that the festival is over. So, this year, Kuthiyottam would be carried out with more importance,” said the office-bearers of the Trust in a press conference here on Monday.
Trust secretary M S Jyothishkumar said that offering Pongala on tiled footpaths should be avoided. The collection of money in the name of Pongala in some places like Kayamkulam had come to the Trust’s notice. The authorities made it clear that nobody had been asked to collect money in the name of Pongala.
They claimed that around 32 lakh devotees had offered Pongala last year and said that they expected 35 lakh women this year for the event.
Trust chairman K P Ramachandran Nair and joint secretary P Parameswaran Thampi, among others, attended the news conference.