Festival Onam in Kerala.

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Onam is an annual Hindu harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of *Kerala. A major annual event for Keralites, it is the official festival of the state and includes a spectrum of cultural events.

Onam falls in the month of Chingam, which is the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar. The celebrations mark the Malayalam New Year, are spread over ten days, and conclude with Thiruvonam. The first (Atham) and the last day (Thiruvonam) are particularly important in Kerala and to Malayalee communities elsewhere.

*Pulikali, also known as Kaduvakali is a common sight during the Onam season. This dance showcases performers painted like tigers in bright yellow, red and black, who dance to the beats of instruments like Chenda and Thakil.

The Atham day is marked with the start of festivities at *Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara temple (map). This Vishnu temple is considered as the focal centre of Onam and the abode of Mahabali, with the raising of the festival flag. Parades are held, which are colourful and depict the elements of Kerala culture with floats and tableaux.

Other days have a diverse range of celebrations and activities ranging from boat races, cultural programs, sports competitions, dance events, martial arts, floral Rangoli – pookkalam, prayers, shopping, donating time or food for charity to spending time with family over feasts. Men and women wear traditional dress. The Kerala sari or Kasavu sari is particularly wore on this day.

Normally, the largest chunk of Onam celebrations ends by Thiruvonam. However, the two days following Thiruvonam are also celebrated as Third and Fourth Onam. The third Onam, called Avvittom marks the preparations for King Mahabali’s return ascension to heavens. The main ritual of the day is to take the Onathappan statue which was placed in the middle of every Pookkalam during the past 10 days and immerse it in nearby rivers or sea. The Pookkalam will be cleaned and removed after this ritual.

*Thiruvananthapuram /  Trivandrum (map) is one of the oldest cities in India, with periodic references in many Greek and Roman literatures. This city came to the forefront when the Venad Dynasty rose to power in the southern regions, after the Great Partition of the Kerala Empire of Cheras in the 14th century.

 

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BUS: Redbus • Travelyaari • Buskiraya • myticketbuddy. Reliable carriers: Raj National Express • KPN Travels. While you can’t take a cross-country bus ride across India, buses are the second most-popular way of travelling across states and the only cheap way of reaching many places not on the rail network (e.g. Dharamsala)

TRAIN: irctc.co.in ⇒ Railways were introduced in India in 1853, more than one and half a century ago by the British, and today India boasts of the biggest network of railway lines in the world, and the rail system is very efficient, if rarely on schedule. It is one of the safest ways of travel in India.

AIRPORT: Chhatrapati Shivaji AirportIndira Gandhi Airport • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport • Dabolim Airport. Domestic flights, the main operators are: Air India (Discover India) • Air India Express • Air Asia India • IndiGo • Go First • SpiceJet • Vistara.

Celebration of Kerala’s Tradition and Culture | Onam | Kerala Tourism.

Onam is the national festival of Kerala. Malayalis across the globe celebrate it irrespective of caste and religion. The Onam season kicks-off from the Atham asterism in the month of Chingam. Floral carpets are laid in the courtyards of houses, signaling the arrival of Onam. The festival is also the season of rituals.

video source: Kerala Tourism / youtube.com /

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Indian Food.

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The One-Stop Guide to Indian Food: Indian food is very different from western food and can seem a little intimidating from an outside perspective. If you”re planning to visit India or just want some more information about Indian food before visiting your local restaurant, then this Indian food guide can help.

Restricted / Protected Area: Travel in much of the North-East (with the notable exception of Assam) and parts of Andaman and Nicobar, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will require obtaining a *Protected Area Permit (PAP). The easiest way to get one is to request it along with your visa application, in which case it will be added to your visa.