Attukal Pongala was reduced to temple ceremonies for the first time in the history of Kovid. As Melshanthi P Ishwaran Namboothiri set fire to the Pandara stove at 10.50 am on Saturday, lakhs of devotees from all over Kerala offered Pongala in their homes.
No Pongala was held in the streets or public places this time due to security concerns. Pongala offerings were taken at 3.40 pm at the Pandara stove. No priests were appointed from the temple this time for the offering. There was flowering by plane. The stabbing was only ritualistic. Due to restrictions on those under the age of ten, participants between the ages of ten and twelve participated in the thalapoli.
The idol was taken out at 7.30 pm with the accompaniment of the major set-panchavadyam performed by Srivaraham Vishnu and company. The police were escorted by the armed forces. There was no blasphemy or coloring on the way. The idol returned to the temple at 11 pm.
Minister Kadakampally Surendran, VK Prashanth MLA, Mayor Arya Rajendran, KIL Chairman V Sivankutty and Shashi Tharoor MP were present on the occasion. The festival will conclude on Sunday night at 9.15 pm with the offering of blood after the coffee ceremony.
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