Onam is one of the most splendiferous festivals of God’s Own Country which is religiously as well as culturally significant celebrated with great grandeur and pomp. It is celebrated each year from late August until early September and it is observed by Keralites all over the world to commemorate the annual homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali. It is believed that on the festival day he will bless the people with happiness. It also marks the harvest festival of the state.
One of the most important festivals in the Malayali culture, Onam is celebrated with great excitement and fervor across the state of Kerala.
Kerala entertains everyone with a lot of celebrations, events, contests, competitions and cultural programs during the 10 days of Onam Festival. The festivity starts on the Atham day (September 2) and comes to an end on the Thiruvonam day (September 11), with grand celebrations and elaborate feast. Onam season is all about joy and merrymaking where people indulge in fun-filled activities like decorating Pookalam (floral designs), making Onathappan (pyramid-shaped clay models representing King Mahabali and Vamana), swaying on the swings, playing Onam games, and so on. All the fun and frolics, cultural events and celebrations of this festivity makes way for a wonderful getaway to the God’s Own Country during the Onam season.
Of course, Onam is celebrated all over Kerala, but where would you go in Kerala to catch the real festivity of this extraordinary festival? No worries, to witness the absolute splendour of Onam festival these places are the best. Check out!
Thripunithura which once served as the erstwhile capital of Kochi is one of the best places in Kerala to experience the grandeur of Onam festival. The celebrations of Onam kicks off at Thripunithura near Ernakulam, with a spectacular cultural fiesta called the Athachamayam.
You feel overwhelmed with a great amount of admiration for the grand Athachamayam procession, displaying caparisoned elephants, dance, music, floats and all the art forms of Kerala. And this procession is held every year with immense passion to remember the legendary march of the Maharaja of Kochi from Thripunithura to Vamana Moorthy Temple in Thrikkakara. Thripunithura also grabs your attention during Onam season by hosting numerous cultural events on all the 10 days of the festival.
Venue: Layam Ground, Thripunithura.
Date: 2 September 2019.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 33.2 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Thripunithura Railway Station, about 2.3 Km.
For brief details about Athachamayam Festival, please click here…
A must-visit place during Onam festival is the Thrikkakara Temple which is dedicated to Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Onam festival is believed to have originated at Thrikkakara Temple. The celebrations of Onam at this temple also starts on the Atham day with a special flag hoisting ceremony. The festivity continues for nine more days with special cultural events, music and dance performances. Another highlight of this temple is the Pakalpooram which takes place on the day before Thiruvonam.
During Pakalpooram, the deity of the temple is taken in procession on an elephant around the temple grounds. Besides the merriment of Onam festival, being a part of the Pakalpooram procession is a divine and blessed moment. The holy bath of the deity called the Arattu ceremony marks the end of the Onam festival.
Venue: Thrikkakara Temple, Ernakulam.
Date: 2 September 2019 to 11 September 2019.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 20.8 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam Town Railway Station, about 8.5 Km.
To drench in the festive spirit of Onam, you should be in Thrissur, at the Swaraj Round where you bear witness to one of the most electrifying art form of Kerala called Pulikali (Tiger dance). I’m pretty sure you will lose yourself watching the vibrant Pulikali where the tiger-clad men mimic the movement of tigers to the throbbing beats of percussion music.
Pulikali depicts the theme of a tiger hunt and you can also see men disguised as hunters carrying a gun, dance and move behind the tigers. A multitude of people including tourists from various parts of the world gathers around the Swaraj Round in Thrissur to catch a glimpse of this amazing art form.
Venue: Swaraj Round, Thrissur.
Date: 14 September 2019.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 53.1 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Thrissur Railway Station, 2.5 Km.
Another best place to indulge in the Onam celebrations is the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum. The city wears a festive look with decorative lights for 10 days hosting various cultural activities, Pookalam contests, stage shows, dance competitions, folk arts, handicraft fairs, food stalls, etc at around 20 venues across the city.
The grand celebration is on the Thiruvonam day with a massive procession of decorated elephants marching through the streets and you can catch a glimpse of floats showcasing cultural highlights of Kerala. You will also get an opportunity to enjoy the grand traditional feast served in banana leaves known as Onasadya on the Thiruvonam day.
Date: 2 September 2019 to 11 September 2019.
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 6.7 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Central Railway Station, about 5.6 Km.
Snake boat races are the most captivating event of Onam celebrations. Aranmula Uthrittathi Boat Race is a very famous water carnival that takes place every year with great fanfare on the banks of the River Pamba, near Aranmula Sri Parthasarathy Temple during Onam festival. And you need to be in Aranmula, a scenic village in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala to catch this thrilling spectacle.
The ornamentally decorated boats with a team of rowers and drummers racing through the water in sync to the tune of energetic boat songs is a mesmerizing treat to the senses. The banks of River Pamba will be flocked by natives as well as tourists from all over the world to drench in the spirit of this amazing event.
Venue: River Pamba, Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district.
Date: 15 September 2019.
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 117 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Chengannur Railway Station, about 10 Km.
Alleppey is forever a favourite tourist spot for travellers visiting Kerala. For a change, why not celebrate Onam in a houseboat at Alleppey. It will be a unique experience to make Pookalam in a houseboat and enjoy the delicious Onasadya as you cruise the darling backwaters of Kerala, exploring the scenic beauty and the beautiful villages snuggled around it. Alleppey is, therefore, a good choice for you to visit during the Onam festival.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 82.8 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Alleppey Railway Station, 3.7 Km.
For brief details about Onam festival 2019, please click here…
Onam is the best time to dip into the deep ocean of the diverse Indian culture to collect some real gems in your lifelong memory.
Visit Kerala during this Onam season and indulge in the fun, excitement and cheerfulness of this vibrant festival along with exploring the rich culture of the state.
On this special occasion, enjoy this Onam Festival with our festival special tour offers with our exciting tour packages and customized culture tour packages for you to celebrate the spirit of Onam festival at various places across Kerala.
For more details and bookings, visit: www.keralatourism.holiday