It’s that time of the year again. Festivities all around… Onam is here!
Onam is undoubtedly one of the major festivals in Kerala. The festival is celebrated over a period of 10 days, based on the Malayalam calendar. Some of the temples in Kerala have been hosting various rituals and poojas on the occasion of Onam since a long long time. Interesting, some of these temples have mythological legends associated with the festival.
We have listed some of them for you.
Thrikkakara Temple is one of the few well-known temples associated with Onam celebrations for any Keralite. It is dedicated to Lord Vamana, the 5th avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located in Thrikkakara in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. The name ‘Thrikkakkara’ is derived from the term meaning ‘the place where Lord Vishnu set his foot’. Onam festival is celebrated in this temple throughout the ten days. The temple hosts cultural art performance such as Chakyar Koothu, Ottamthullal, Kathakali and Patakam.
Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple
Parthasarathy temple is situated on the bank of Pampa river in Aranmula village located in Pathanamthitta district. It is one of the biggest temples in Kerala. It is believed that Lord Mahavishnu gave darshan to Lord Brahma and Vedavyasa in this very temple. Another legend of a Brahmin family ‘Katoor Mana’ is also much talked about. It is believed that the head of the family was once waiting to offer food to a poor man when a boy in rags appeared in front of him. He offered food to the boy, who then disappeared. Later, the boy was spotted in Aranmula temple, and is believed to be the God himself. From then on, the Brahim family offers food to Aranmula deity during Onam every year.
Sasthamcotta Sree Dharma Sastha Temple
Sree Dharma Sastha Temple is located in Kollam District of Kerala. The concept of Dharma Sastha represents unison of Vishnu and Siva. The Sasthamkotta temple, which lends its name to the town, is also dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Hoards of monkeys in vicinity of the temple premises is a common sight. There is a mythological belief that Lord Hanuman, while heading to Lanka, halted at this place. Hence, the devotees visiting the place feed the monkeys. In addition to this, monkeys are given grand sadhya during Thiruonam (Third Onam). Devotees going to Sabrimala pilgrimage also visit this place.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Sri Anatha Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvanathapuram district of Kerala. The temple became famous and has been in news for its secret valets and other controversy associated with it. The temple was under the custody of the Travancore Royal family for a long time until recently when its was taken under custody by the Government. It is now monitored under the supervision of the Supreme Court. During 1729, the great ruler Marthanda Varma renovated the temple and the wooden idol was replaced by the present one. Special pooja is held during Onam when devotes flock the place.
Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple
Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple is located in the cultural capital of the state, Thrissur. One of the legends has it that the head of the Nair family would visit the Devi daily. He eventually decided to make one final visit because it was getting difficult to make regular visits owing to age-related ailments. It is believed that on his last visit, when he got up after taking rest for a while, he found his umbrella too heavy to lift. He finally concluded that the Devi has decided to rest in his umbrella. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple was erected in remembrance of this event. Every Onam, special pooja is held and Onam Sadya is given to the devotees for a nominal charge.
Thiruvambady Sree Krishna Temple
The Thiruvambady Temple is located in Thrissur district of Kerala. The deity of the temple is Unnikrishna (infant Lord Krishna). The temple is popularly known as the cultural hub for Thrissur Pooram festival. One of the legends has it that during communal tension, villagers carried the idol to Thrissur and entrusted it to a Namboodiri couple at Kachanapilly Illam. The couple was childless and desperate for one. They took care of the idol as their own child, showering it with lots of love and affection. The Lord decided to fulfill their wish and lived with his ‘new parents’. Every year on Onam, special pooja is held and Grand Sadya is given to devotees on the third day (Thiru Onam).
So, go ahead and choose your favourite temple and enjoy Onam with your family and friends.