Onam is the biggest and most popular festival in Kerala. It marks the homecoming of King Mahabali or Maveli, the mythological Asura or demon king of ancient Kerala. Observed as the harvest festival of the state, Onam is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Chingam, typically falling between August and September. The festival of Onam lasts for ten days, showcasing the essence of Kerala's culture and tradition, drawing people from all walks of life. Regardless of caste or religion, every Keralite across the world enthusiastically celebrates Onam, symbolizing prosperity, harmony, and peace.

The history of Onam dates back to the Sangam Period. It's associated with King Mahabali, known for his generosity and wisdom. Under his rule, Kerala saw a golden era of equality and prosperity. However, the Gods grew jealous and sought Lord Vishnu's help. Vishnu disguised himself as a dwarf Brahmin and asked Mahabali for three steps of land. Mahabali agreed, but Vishnu revealed his true form and covered the earth and heaven in two steps. Impressed by Mahabali's humility, Vishnu granted him a boon to visit his kingdom every year. Thus, Onam celebrates Mahabali's return.

The Athachamayam Festival in Thripunithura kicks off the 10-day Onam celebration. Atham is the first day, and Thiruvonam, the tenth, is the most special. During Onam, Kerala comes alive with vibrant Pookalam flower designs, joyful songs, elegant Thiruvathirakali dances, colourful Pulikali performances, and delicious Onasadya feasts. The people of Kerala believe that on the Thiruvonam day, King Mahabali returns to see his subjects.

Specialty of Festival:

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala which commemorates the homecoming of their legendary King Mahabali.

Month of Festival:

Onam is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Chingam which usually falls between August and September.

How to reach?

By Air : Kerala boasts four international airports, namely Cochin International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Karipur International Airport, and Kannur International Airport.

By Train :Kerala has approximately 200 railway stations, ensuring excellent connectivity with major cities across India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and more.

By Road :Kerala boasts a well-established network of roadways that directly links it with neighbouring states in South India, such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala State Transport buses and private buses operate regularly, connecting various parts of the state.

By Water :Kerala can also be reached via ship, with a rich maritime history boasting many seaports. Major ports like the Port of Kochi and Vizhinjam International Seaport serve as vital marine routes to Kerala from various countries. Additionally, Kerala's scenic backwaters are not just a tourist attraction but also a traditional mode of transportation. Public ferry services, houseboats, and speedboats are available for travel within Kerala. Passenger boat services operate along waterways from boat jetties at Kollam, Alappuzha, Fort Kochi, Ernakulam, and other locations.


1.When is Onam celebrated?

Onam is celebrated every year during the Malayalam month of Chingam which usually falls between August and September.

2.What is the significance of the Onam Festival?

The significance of the Onam Festival lies in its celebration of the homecoming of King Mahabali, a beloved mythical ruler, and the harvest festival marking the end of the monsoon season. It symbolizes unity, prosperity, and the spirit of Kerala's cultural heritage.

3.What are the main attractions of the Onam festival?

The main attractions of the Onam festival include the colourful floral designs (Pookalam), grand feast (Onam Sadya), Thiruvathirakali, tiger dance (Pulikali), Kummattikali, boat races (Vallamkali), traditional games, processions, and shopping fairs.