Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government has decided to seek national pilgrim centre status for the famous Attukal Bhagavathi temple here, known for its annual'Pongala' festival that attracts thousands of women on a single day.
State Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had agreed to take up the demand with Union Tourism and Cultural Ministry, temple administration sources said.
The 'Pongala,' falling on March 10 this year, has already entered the Guinness Book of World Records as a unique religious event that attracts largest women congregation on a single day.
The number of devotees turning up to participate in the event had been going up steadily and this year the turn-out was expected to be around 2.5 million.
The temple was also known as "women's Sbarimala' as the pongala is all-woman event like the Sabarimala pilgrimage was mainly for men since women in 10-50 age group are not alowed to the hillshrine.
The 'pongala' ritual comprises preparation of sweetened rice on bricken hearths to be offered to the Goddess seeking her divine blessings.
All arrangements are in place for the festival beginning tomorrow with hoisting of temple flag and culminating in the 'pongala' ritual on March 10, sources said.
This year the event will also be webcast on the temple wensite www.attukal.org, the sources said.