The annual festival of the Attukal Bhagavathy temple will begin on Monday, and the Pongala will be held on February 26.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust chairman K.P. Ramachandran and president M. Radhakrishnan Nair said the festival would begin at 9.45 a.m. on Monday with the tying of ‘kappu’ on the main deity. On February 26, the traditional hearth in front of the temple would be lit at 10.45 a.m. marking the start of the Pongala, Mr. Nair said

The trust, he said, was working in close coordination with various government agencies to provide all amenities to the devotees. This year, the trust expected nearly 35 lakh devotees to participate in the Pongala, he said.

Adequate arrangements had been made to provide clean drinking water and medical assistance and for parking of vehicles from other States. The trust volunteers would closely work with the city Corporation staff to provide proper sanitation facilities. Appealing to the devotees not to use unburnt bricks and plastic items during the Pongala festival, he said women devotees should avoid wearing gold ornaments. Those interested in serving drinking water to the devotees should get prior permission from the nearest police station, he said.