Onam is the biggest festival in the Indian state of Kerala. Onam Festival falls during the Malayali month of Chingam (Aug – Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. Carnival of Onam lasts for ten days and brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition. Intricately decorated Pookalam, ambrosial Onasadya, breathtaking Snake Boat Race and exotic Kaikottikali dance are some of the most remarkable features of Onam – the harvest festival in Kerala.
Onam is also a harvest festival. It is celebrated at a time when everything appears so nice and good. The beautiful landscape of Kerala can be seen in its full radiance at this time of the Malayalam New Year. Weather, it seems, also seeks to be a part of the festival. It contributes by becoming pleasantly warm and sunny. Fields look brilliant with a bountiful harvest. Farmers feel on top of the world as they watch the result of their hard labour with pride.
Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar.
Carnival of Onam lasts from four to ten days. First day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all. Popularity and presentation of rich culture of the state during the carnival made Onam the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of the dynamic festival called Onam.
Government of India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colorful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates ‘Tourist Week’ for Kerala during Onam celebrations. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam.
The Legend story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Every body in the state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali’s character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali’s growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached.
It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.
Rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten day long festival. It is indeed a treat to be a part of the grand carnival. People of Kerala make elaborate preparations to celebrate it in the best possible manner.
The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.
Another enchanting feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators.
There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations.
I got your reference from a friend in Bangalore. Because I was traveling alone I checked across for a good travel agent. Sunny Holidays Kerala arranged a perfect driver Mr.Prakash for me. He was so kind and helpful throughout the trip. It was a great experience. Thank you. Date of travel: January 2023
We would like to take this opportunity to convey our thanks to Sunny Holidays Kerala. It was truly a memorable one. The hotels, pickups, tour sights , our driver cum guide Mr.Chikku & other arrangements made by your team were superb. Houseboat at Alleppey and our stay at Kumarakom was awesome. Group of 12 Members. Date of travel January 2023
We had a Great Experience at Briar Stanmore Garden Bungalow Valparai. Our group of 5 family with small kids. Really thankful to Sunny Holidays Kerala for suggesting Briar Stanmore Bungalow at Valapri. We asked for a location to spend our vacation with family. Not Munnar because we had been there many time. For instance we need a similar weather. Briar Bungalow Valparai is a Great place to spend your vacation with Family and dear ones. The food was awesome. Thank you - www.sunnykerala.com Date of travel: January 2023
Travel date : September 2022. We had a great time at Morickap Resort Wayanad. Thank you Sunny Holidays Kerala for suggesting the Resort in Wayanad. Our Kids too enjoyed a lot as there are many indoor and outdoor activities in the Morickap Resort Wayanad. We definitely would recommend Sunny Holidays Kerala to Our Family and Friends.
Date of Travel - June 2022. Extremely satisfied with your Kerala Honeymoon package.Stay was amazing especially the view from hotel at Munnar - Amberdale resort Munnar- was beautiful.Alleppey Stay at houseboat was too good. Rafi is super friendly Driver and customer centric. He is quite attentive to our needs , also helped in clicking beautiful pictures of us. I would definitely recommend sunny holidays Kerala to whoever planning a trip to Kerala and according to availability, I'd like you to arrange the same driver for them too. Thanks for your assistance in making the trip memorable.
We reached back safely. Thanks for your service.It has been a very good experience in Kerala.Our stay at "The Leaf Munnar" was highly satisfying. Please recommend it to your guests.Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom too was a good experience. Houseboat at Alleppey - Food was very tasty and the ride was also really enjoyable one. Finally travelling with the Driver Vignesh, has been a very pleasant experience. He insisted that we take a jeep safari in Munnar and it turned out to be a memorable one, the Driver took good care of us. Overall, I am highly satisfied with the service..Thank you Sunny Holidays Kerala. Date of Travel November 2016
We had availed the Cab and Houseboat service from Sunny Kerala. We had a good experience. It was for 7 Nights 8 Days Kerala Tour Package in the Month of November 2016. The driver was very nice person and also helpful. The Houseboat at Alleppey was Wow...Great and the food was also good. We really enjoyed the Service which was very much in our budget.
We had a great time at Gavi. The Gavi Eco Tour was very well arranged by Sunny Holidays Kerala. We were a Family of 5 Members and all enjoyed the trip through the Forest. We started the Gavi Tour early in the Morning and all the food was arranged for us. All together the Gavi Eco Tour was a great and new experience for all of us.
Thank You Sunny Holidays Kerala Team for the excellent Service you provided. We enjoyed a lot. Good selection of Resorts at Munnar and Houseboat at Alleppey. The houseboat staff was very helpful and the food was awesome and mouthwatering. The Driver was a good guy. Thanks once again for making our Honeymoon trip so wonderful. Travel Date Sep 2016
We enjoyed our stay at munnar for 2 Nights. When Sunny Holidays Kerala arrange a Kerala Tour Package it is too good and will be good always as I am coming for the second time with you. Thank you Team Sunny for all the help and making us holiday wonderful....Travelled in Aug 2016
We had a customised Kerala honeymoon package for 5 Nights 6 Days which included Munnar, Thekkady,Alleppey and Cochin.We really had a great time. This was our honeymoon trip and first time to Kerala. Sunny Holidays Kerala helped us in arranging a honeymoon package which was according to our Budget and all the resorts and houseboat were very good and especially very safe for couples. Need to say about the driver - He was a good and helping person. He was with us throughout the journey. We will recommend your service to our friends and also wish to use your service for our next trip to Kerala... We travelled in the month of July 2016
Sir Thank you very much , everything was too good. Driver Subinesh was very nice person. Overall the trip was very nice experience. Many THANKS for arranging the kerala honeymoon package within the budget with very good service. 2 Nights Munnar and 1 Night alleppey. Date of Travel May 31 to June 3rd 2016
We came to know about Sunny Holidays Kerala through online. We had calls from different Tour Operators but we got the best rate for 3 pax from Sunny Holidays Kerala for the alleppey houseboat. We are from Thootukudi,Tamil Nadu. They offered us good package at very competitive rate. We had made good contacts with them and they were ready to clear all our doubts. We were so happy with the service provided and we will surely recommend "Sunny Holidays Kerala" to our friends and family. Date of Travel 15th May 2016
We had a great stay at Munnar, It was well arranged. Our kid was all the more happy at the Capithans Bungalow Munnar. Thanks Sunny Holidays Kerala Team for the great trip. We travelled in May 2016
Guest response about Houseboat Trip
We had a great time at Alleppey. We had booked the houseboat for 2 Nights and we really enjoyed the stay. The food was awesome. All the staff were so helpful. We are from South Africa and thanks a lot to Sunny Holidays Kerala for arranging this great memorable trip. Date of trip - JUNE 2015
Munnar and Alleppey trip which happened from 16th April till 20th April 2015, was amazing. You took care of us well by booking and arranging. Nice hospitality was received. Very good and cooperative driver Mr. Denish. Good boat House and nice caring crew members.Thanks to all of you. Had nice time in this trip.
We had a great group package trip with Sunny Holidays Kerala. We were a group of 14 members and we had booked the resort and transport via Sunny Holidays Kerala in Munnar and Thekkady. We had a great welcome at the airport and had a brief intro regarding the itinerary. All the members enjoyed the tour and we are all happy and satisfied with the service. Great hospitality....
I recently completed a tour organized by Sunny Holidays Kerala. It was a budget kerla holiday package. My family and I had a great time in Alleppey & Kochi. The accommodations were nicer than we expected and very much within our budget. The food in the house boat was marvellous. Each and every moment of the trip is memorable. I thought I would provide some feedback and overall thank you for organizing a very memorable tour.