KOCHI: As Malayalis all over the world get ready to celebrate Onam, the spirit is equally buoyant at Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple, the only temple dedicated to Vamana in Kerala.According to the myth, Mahabali used to rule Thrikkakara and Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, pushed him down at the same place. So, belief is that Mahabali arrives at Thrikkakara first. Though the origin of the Vamanamoorthy temple is unknown, it is traced to the reign of Chera Kings.
“The festivities at Thrikkakara temple used to last for 28 days during the rule of Kulasekhara Chakravarthi, the Chera King. As many as 56 local chieftains visit the king on these days with offerings to showcase the wealth of their county. All these days are celebrated with pomp and glory and the final day falls on Thiruvonam,” says Janardhanan Nair, a historian.
Even after years, the traditions are followed in the temple. Like how chieftains used to present their offerings to the king, the devotees present their offerings to the deity during ‘Thirumulkaazhcha samarpanam’ that happens on the day of Uthradam.
Pakalpooram, the grand procession of elephants, will be held in the evening hours. The celebrations on the day of Thiruvonam begins with Mahabali ‘ethirelp’ where Mahabali is welcomed. “The procession symbolises that the Lord himself welcomes Mahabali on Onam day,” says Pramod Kumar, general convenor of the celebration committee.
Thiruvonasadya at Thrikkakara temple is another highlight. Every year, more than 10,000 people attend the grand feast at the temple. “Reminiscing the days of Mahabali’s time, we try to spread the message of equality and unity through the grand feast. This year, we expect around 20,000 people,” says Pramod Kumar. The celebrations culminate with Lord Vamanan taken for a ritual bath, Aarattu.