Photos of the Attukal Pongala Festival in Trivandrum

Every year in India’s southernmost city, millions of women build millions of fires in the open street and cook a pot of rice on the flames. They travel to the city on slow trains or local buses crammed full, spend days guarding the bricks on which their fire will burn and, during a long day of sweltering heat and crowds and noise, remind the city of their strength and devotion, to both their families and Attukal Devi, the goddess to whom the Attukal Pongala Festival is dedicated. It is their belief in her powers – to bless, to help and to heal – that once a year transforms Trivandrum.

From Bubbling Over: Attukal Pongala in Trivandrum, by Claire

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