Happy Onam

My first visit to Kerala was when Onam festivities were going on in the State. It was a wonderful experience, which I had never come across anywhere encompassing so many celebrations and activities.

Onam is  the most auspicious annual harvest festival in Kerala, which is the official state festival too.

According to legends, the festival is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, also known as King Bali or Maveli, whose spirit is believed to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

King Bali was a very popular mythical king in Kerala. The people were very happy and satisfied with him.

A scene from Bekal, Kerala

He was the great-grandson of a demon, Hiranyakashipu and the grandson of Prahlad. He defeated gods and took over all the three worlds. Being the  king of Asuras, he had procured Amrit in the Samudra Manthan and became immortal.

Jealous of King Bali’s power and popularity, gods conspired to bring his reign to an end. They approached Lord Vishnu, who re-incarnated himself into a Vamana (Dwarf) Brahmana and at the end of a great Yajna, sought a gift of three paces or steps of land from King Bali.

Being magnanimous enough,  King Bali granted his wish. Vamana then transformed himself into  a huge (विराट) form, put his first step on earth, second step on sky and asked King Bali where he should put his third step. King immediately realised that this Vamana is none, but Lord Vishnu Himself and offered his head for the third step.

Although King Bali had to leave his country, Lord Vishnu granted his wish to revisit his kingdom every year to bring happiness to his people. Keralites celebrate Onam with much gusto to welcome his return to state.

Onam falls in the first month (Chingam) of the Malayalam Calendar. The ten day celebrations mark the start of  Malayalam New Year with the first day being called Atham and conclude with Thiruvonam.

All the ten days, different types of dishes like neyappan, unniyappam, kinnan, sukhiyan, idiyappam and vattayappam with (inji curry) are prepared and enjoyed.

Preparation of household dishes

Onam Sadya (banquet) is the traditional meal with more than two dozen vegetarian dishes served without cutlery on a banana leaf, without which the celebrations are incomplete.

Onam sadya

Onam celebrations include Vallam Kali (snake boat race), Kathakali (traditional dance), Pulikali (tiger dance), Pookkalam (flower rangoli), Thumbi Thullal (women’s dance), Kummattikali (mask dance), Onathallu (martial arts) and so on.

Snake boat race

In fact, Onam, as I witnessed, is an exuberant community festival, which brings together people, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.  It’s really a godly festival in the God’s own country.

Sending my most heart-warming Onam greetings your way…

–Kaushal Kishore


    1. I also enjoy food, but these malyali foods are something different. While in Kerala, I always like to have some unique preparations like idiyappam. Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So beautiful article and amazing photos 🌹♥️🙏🎋🎉 ,
    कितनी सुन्दरता से आप केरल को वर्णित की है , मुझे आप पर गर्व है 🙂
    तिरुवोणम की ढेरों सारी शुभकामनाएँ 🙏🌹💓🎉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. मुझे अच्छा लगा कि आपको यह पोस्ट पसंद आया। आपकी प्रशंसा के लिए बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद। तिरुवोणम की बधाइयां और शुभकामनाएं एक बार फिर 🙏🎉💐🌷

      Liked by 1 person

      1. मैं वहां कई बार गया हूं। कई मलयाली मित्र भी मेरे रहे हैं। इसलिए। धन्यवाद।🙏💐🌷

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Narayan ji, the festive season is round the corner, the next in line is Ganeshotsav. Thank you so much. Happy Onam to you too!!


    1. Thank you, Grace and wish the same to you. Yes, I have seen people busy in making dishes and decorating houses throughout these ten days. Thanks a lot for your appreciation 🙂💖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Ananya, I like to be in Mumbai during Ganeshotsav and in Kerala during Onam. Thank you so much, Ananya, for your kind words and wish you a very happy and prosperous Onam and the year ahead 😊🎉🥰😍🙏


  2. Thank you for your wishes. Onam is the festival we Malayalis celebrate with the most effort indeed. It’s the start of our new year. A very Joyous occasion indeed. I hope you’ll be able to visit Kerala and enjoy the sadhya once again. Happy Onam to you too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and adding inputs. Yes, I would visit again. I have some friends there. Once again my good wishes for Onam😊👁️


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s