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Places of Worship

Attukal
It is a temple which is famous for its Pongala festival, the largest annual gathering of the women for a religious purpose that has found place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Attukal Bhagavathy temple is a major center of pilgrimage in the state, especially unique for a large number of female devotees visiting the temple every day.

The Bhagavathy (Goddess), the main deity of the temple, is believed to be the incarnation of Kannaki, a character in the Tamil epic Chilappadikaram. The temple, on the shores of river Killi, is believed to be very old. The annual Pongala (a sweet porridge offering made to the deity) is held here every year in the months of February- March.

Beemapalli Dargah Shareef
Beemapalli, a famous pilgrim centre in Thiruvananthapuram, is dedicated to Bee Umma, a pious Muslim woman who is believed to possess divine powers. This seaside centre of worship is remarkable with its calm, soothing, spiritual environment. Devotees, irrespective of caste or religion, reach here every day.

The annual Uroos festival held here is a grand event. This ten-day long festival is held in memory of Syedunnisa Beemabeevi and her son Syedushuhadamaheen Abubacker. The most important ritual associated with the festival is Chandanakkudam as part of which devotees make an offering of coins in earthern pots (kudam) which are smeared in sandal paste (chandanam).

Sivagiri Mutt
The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928) is located at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district. Also situated here is the Samadhi or final resting place of the Guru.

Built in 1904, the Mutt is situated on top of a hill. It is the headquarters of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham (SNDP), a social organisation founded by the Guru to propagate his ideas.

The annual Sivagiri pilgrimage is carried out from 30th December to 1st January. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group weddings and rituals mark the celebrations. Thousands throng here on this occasion.

Vettukad Church
Vettukad Madre-de-Deus Church is a famous centre of pilgrimage in Thiruvananthapuram. Located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, the church attracts thousands of devotees irrespective of caste and religion. The church is believed to have been established by St. Francis Xavier, the missionary who came to India to spread the gospel.

The annual festival here is called the 'Feast of Christ, the King'. The feast is celebrated across 10 days culminating in the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Various religious rites are carried out during the festival days. On the last Saturday of the feast, the image of Christ is taken out in a large colourful procession. A solemn high mass, sermons, Eucharistic processions and benediction mark the final day.

Padmanabha Swamy temple
An ancient temple devoted to Lord Vishnu, Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple has much to do with Thiruvananthapuram, so much so that even the name of the city is derived from Anatha Padmanabha, the prime deity of the temple (Lord Vishnu as seen reclining on Anantha, the serpent deity). It is regarded as one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples of India. A blend of Kerala and Dravidian architecture styles, the structure of the temple is a real feast to one’s eyes. A magnificent 100 feet high Gopuram (temple tower) is a prime attraction of the temple.