August 07, 2022
CM Content Team
Kerala is one of the most popular tourist places in India; it is in everyone’s bucket list. While the state is known for its pristine natural landscape, it is also home to some of the most magnificent temples in India and the ever so charming backwaters. Kerala’s rich culture and festivals, especially Onam, deserves a special mention, and it gives tons of reasons to visit the state.
Onam in Kerala is celebrated annually to welcome the harvest season. It is the biggest and grandest festival in Kerala that fills every nook and corner in the state with excitement, happiness, and colours. If you have not seen Kerala during Onam, honestly, you are missing out a lot. Let us give you five reasons why you must celebrate Onam in Kerala.
Pulikali, literally translates to ‘play of the tigers.’ It is one of the unique folk art forms and an important cultural event in Kerala during Onam. In this art form, the men get painted themselves like tigers and perform dances on the streets. The event takes place in the Swaraj Round in Thrissur. Wherever you are, seeing the men perform Pulikali is a sight that is worth experiencing once in a lifetime.
No matter, if you have visited Kerala many times before, the rich culture, colourful customs of Kerala like Pulikali that are on display during Onam is the top reason why you must consider visiting Kerala again during the festival.
Onam festival celebrations in Kerala begin with the Athachamayam parade from Thripunithura to Thrikkakara Temple. One of the most important processions in Kerala that happens during the Onam festival and gives the world a glimpse of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage.
Athachamayam is basically a folk art of Kerala that depicts mythical scenes or historical events that hold a great sentimental value for the locals. The most notable thing about this procession that makes it special is the Elephant parade, where the animals are decorated beautifully in honour of the King of Kochi. It is a beautiful sight that will remain etched in your memory for a long time.
Onam celebrations are incomplete without Onasadya, the grand meal. Like any other festival in India, during Onam, the people of Kerala prepare an elaborate and delicious feast for the family members and guests. And, Onasadya is a traditional feast, which is prepared on the last day of the Onam festival.
The feast includes a variety of vegetarian preparations, from pickles to chutneys, and papads to salads. The feast is served on banana leaves, and it showcases the rich culinary history and heritage of Kerala.
There are savoury starters, main course dishes, sides, and delectable desserts like payasam. Ada Pradhaman, Avial, Sambaram, Pineapple Pachadi, Kootu Curry, Olan, Cabbage Thoran, Choru are some common Onasadya dishes. It is a meal that you must have at least once in your life because it is known as a feast fit for a king! The Onasadya is the main attraction of Onam celebration in Kerala.
Vallmakali is just the Malayalam name for the iconic snake boat race. You may have seen pictures of the snake-like boats racing over the serene backwaters and lakes of Kerala, well, you can see this race for real and live during the Onam festival. The Vallmakali is an integral and important part of the Onam festival celebrations. The long snake boats are known as Chundan Vallam in the local language, and these boats are not ordinary boats. The oarsmen worship the boats as their Gods and they hold a great spiritual value for the locals.
Every village has one Chundan Vallam and the oarsmen who ride the boats represent their villages at the race. For these men, the race is not just any ordinary sport, it is a matter of great pride and prestige for them.
While there are many races held across Kerala during Onam, the greatest and the grandest of them all is the Nehru Trophy, which is held over the Punnamada Lake in Alleppey. And, if you are visiting Alleppey to watch the snake boat race, you can book your stay at the Club Mahindra Arookutty Resort, one of the best resorts in Kerala. The spacious rooms, premium amenities and exclusive experiences at the resort are sure to give you a memorable holiday experience.
If you are visiting Kerala during Onam, and wish to visit the iconic temples in the state, you would feel delighted. While there are many temples and places of worship in Kerala, the Thirkkakara temple is a must-visit during Onam; it would give you an experience of a lifetime.
During the first and last days of the festival, the temple exudes a palpable spiritual aura that you may not have experienced anywhere else in the world. Also, the temple comes alive as various dance, music and cultural events are held within its premises. You can see the locals dressed up in traditional attire dancing and just having merry. The temple is one of the best places to visit in Kerala to awaken your spiritual senses.
Onam is undoubtedly one of the grandest festivals of Kerala and visiting the state during the festival, witnessing the celebrations and the customs is sure to give you the best travel experience you have ever had.
If you planning to visit Kerala during Onam, don’t forget to book your stay at Club Mahindra resorts. The diverse selection of resorts in Kerala offered by Club Mahindra are designed to cater to your comfort and enjoyment.
Whether you crave the serenity of hill stations, the allure of beachside havens, or the charm of heritage destinations, each resort promises an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in well-appointed rooms, modern amenities, and an array of recreational facilities that ensure a rejuvenating and memorable stay. Moreover, you can make the most of the Onam festivities by indulging in traditional Kerala delicacies at the resorts’ many in-house restaurants.
You can book your stay at:
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.