What’s told about Kerala’s Onam in historical books? Read to know

In the Tamil script – Madhurai Kanchi written in the 4th century A. D, it’s mentioned about Onam celebrations. Thirugnana Sambandar who lived in 7th century AD also has described about Onam in many of his works. Pallandu written in 9th century AD also tells about Onam. In an old inscription written by Raja Sthanu Ravi Varman in the 9th century, it’s told about the land given in alms to Thiruvatta temple near Thiruvalla to celebrate Onam. It’s also described about Onam Sadya in those writings. In yet another Saasanam (description) believed to be written in the 11th century also describes about Onam.

Thrikkakara temple and Onam          

As per legends, Maha Vishnu sent Mahabali to Pathala in Thrikkakara. This place is situated near Edapally of Ernakulam district. A famous temple is situated there. Lord Vishnu was installed in Vamana Avatar in the famous Thrikkakara temple. The whole Thrikkara town, which was under the control of Edapally princely state, was built around temple premises. Edapally kings and Kochi kings were arch rivals. Kochi Raja decided to get control of Thrikkakara by defeating Edapally King, and he was in search for a good opportunity. That’s exactly at the same when Portuguese reached here. Kochi Raja granted permission to Portuguese to do trade in Kochi kingdom, and in return he asked their help to attack Edapally. Portuguese completely destroyed Thrikkakara temple and the town surrounding the temple. The temple was later renovated by Sri Moolam Thirunal of Travancore.       

How Onam reached Kerala homes?

Perumakkanmaar who once ruled Kerala was a great devotee of Thrikkakara Appan. He ordered that all his subjects should reach Thrikkakara temple on Thiruvonam day to celebrate Onam, and the devotees reached the temple. But as years passed by, many of his subjects couldn’t reach the temple on Onam day. Understanding the problem of his subjects, Perumakkanmaar instructed them to celebrate Thiruvonam at their own homes itself. That’s how Onam celebrations of today came into existence.

Did Mahabali really exist?

In Tamil work, Pathittu Pathu, it’s told about a good king Nedum Cheralathan who ruled Kerala in 1st century A. D. He cared his subjects a lot, and worked for their prosperity. He gave alms to his subjects, and his rule and sincerity to subjects were often compared to Mahabali. Rains may seize, but alms of Nedum Cheralathan will continue to rain – that’s what told in this famous Tamil work. During his rule, truth prevailed in his kingdom. There were no thieves or thefts and all people belonged to same class. There was no caste system as well – as mentioned in Pathittu Pathu. A few historians firmly believe that Nedum Cheralathan who ruled Kerala in the 1st century is none other than Mahabali himself. Also read: Existence of Mahabali in other parts of the world.

Go through the gallery to read a few more interesting articles on fun, recreation, myths and traditions associated with Onam season. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read.
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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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