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Attukal Pongala Harmony: KHA's Celebration Resonates at Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona

by Editors Desk


Phoenix, AZ: The enchanting spirit of Kerala Hindus of Arizona (KHA) came alive on Saturday, February 24, as the Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona hosted a mesmerizing Attukal Pongala Celebration. Attukal Pongala, recognized as the world's largest annual gathering of women, is a revered festival celebrated by the Hindu community in Kerala, India. This extraordinary event brought together the community in a fervent display of devotion, culture, and camaraderie. Over 100 actively participated in the Pongala rituals, joined by a substantial congregation of around 600 devotees in attendance, creating a grand display of devotion, culture, and unity.


The festival commenced at 8:00 am, featuring Maha Ganapati Homam, Vriksha (Tree) Puja, Naga Puja, and Devi Puja. The rituals culminated in the symbolic lighting of the Bhandara hearth, symbolizing the beginning of the sacred offering. Around 09:30 am, the temple priest ignited the “Pandara Aduppu” the main hearth staged in front of the temple as devotees chanted lalithasahasra namam, contributing to the sacred ambiance. Following the lighting of the main hearth, the ritual marked the beginning of participants lighting makeshift brick stoves of the devotees who station themselves in and around the temple premises. The ceremony continued with traditional prayers and rituals conducted by the esteemed priests of the Maha Ganapati Temple. The air resonated with the chanting of hymns, and the fragrance of the Pongala offerings added to the overall sense of divinity and togetherness.


KHA, dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Kerala, successfully orchestrated an event that showcased the essence of Attukal Pongala. Attendees had the opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural performances, traditional music, and dance. The celebration reached its pinnacle with the joyous Pongala Sadya, a traditional feast served on banana leaves, enjoyed by the devotees.


Neethu Kiran of KHA expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of the community. She stated, "Attukal Pongala is not just a festival; it's a celebration of unity, faith, and the rich cultural heritage that binds us together. We are thrilled to see the community come together to make this event a resounding success."


The Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona provided a perfect backdrop for this cultural extravaganza. Its serene surroundings and dedicated volunteers added to the overall success of the event, creating lasting memories for all who attended.


As the Attukal Pongala Celebration came to a close, the Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona echoed with gratitude and a sense of fulfillment. KHA's efforts to bring the community together in celebration of their cultural roots were evident in the joyous faces of the attendees.


Kerala Hindus of Arizona (KHA) is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Kerala, India, among the diaspora in Arizona. Through various events and initiatives, KHA aims to create a sense of belonging, foster unity, and celebrate the diversity of the Kerala Hindu community.