Athachamayam held exclusively at the royal town of Thripunithura in the Ernakulam district of Kerala is a spectacular cultural fiesta that marks the beginning of the ten-day Onam Festival in Kerala. It takes place every year on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month of Chingam which falls in August or September.

This grand event showcases a splendid ceremonial procession of caparisoned elephants, elaborately crafted tableaus depicting historical and mythological scenes, colourful floats, vibrant displays of traditional art forms including Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Pulikali, Theyyam, and Kavadiyattam, as well as captivating percussion music like Pandimelam and Panchavadyam. In short, you will come across nearly every traditional art form of Kerala at this very single festival.

The Athachamayam festival, closely tied to the Cochin Royal Family, commemorates the legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi. On Atham day, the King led a procession from Thripunithura to the Thrikkakara Temple, accompanied by representatives from various communities, showcasing religious and communal harmony. The parade halted at the Puthen Bungalow royal quarters before proceeding to the Thripunithura Hill Palace, where the King grants darshan to his subjects. Today, a senior member of the Cochin Royal Family, along with two religious leaders, inaugurates the ceremony, honouring this historic tradition.

Following the flag-hoisting ceremony, the magnificent Athachamayam parade commences with the lighting of a ceremonial lamp by a priest. Hundreds and thousands of people from diverse backgrounds actively participate, while many line the streets to witness this captivating cultural spectacle. The procession showcases both ancient and modern art forms of Kerala, featuring adorned elephants, floats, and musical ensembles. Each folk art form, with its captivating makeup and costumes, contributes to the procession's extraordinary magnificence.

Specialty of Festival:

Athachamayam marks the beginning of the Onam festival in Kerala. It provides a rare opportunity to witness almost all the folk art forms of Kerala.

Month of Festival:

Athachamayam is observed on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month of Chingam which falls in August or September.

How to reach?

By Air : Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport, 33.1 Km away from Thripunithura.

By Train :Thripunithura Railway Station is the nearest railway station, 1.3 Km away from Thripunithura.

By Road :Thripunithura is easily accessible by road. You can choose private transportation, take a bus, or hire a cab to reach Thripunithura.


1.When is Athachamayam celebrated?

Athachamayam is celebrated on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month of Chingam which falls in August or September.

2.Where is the Athachamayam parade held?

The Athachamayam parade is held at Thripunithura in the Ernakulam district of Kerala.

3.What do you experience at Athachamayam?

At the Athachamayam festival, you can experience a vibrant display of Kerala's rich cultural heritage. It's a lively event featuring colourful processions, traditional music, dance performances, and elaborate costumes. You'll get to witness various folk art forms such as Kathakali, Theyyam, Kalarippayattu, and more, all coming together to celebrate the spirit of Onam.