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Onam » About Onam » Legends of Onam

Legends of Onam

Just as in the case of many other festivals of India, there are several interesting legends behind the origin of Onam. The festival is celebrated by all in the state of Kerala, but Nambudiri Brahmins of Kerala are the most spirited when it comes to Onam celebrations as they attribute its origin to their own community. Nambudiri also called Namputiri is the dominant caste of Kerala. Its members regard themselves as the true repositories of the ancient Vedic religion and of the traditional Hindu code.

The Legend of King Mahabali: This is the most popular legend. It is about the mythological King Mahabali who gave Kerala its golden age. Popularity of the King could not be tolerated by Gods and they surreptitiously send him to the nether world. Mahabali's request to visit his people once in a year was granted by God. This annual visit of King Mahabali is celebrated as Onam every year... more

The Legend of Boat Palliodam: Story goes that once a boat laden with food got stuck in the bend of a river. When a wise man boarding the boat, Bhattathiripad, fed a poor and famished family living on the bank of river, only then the boat could be maneuvered forward. From this legend comes the tradition of feeding a poor family on Onam... more

The Legend of Vanishing Boy: The legend says that head of the Katoor Mana, a Nambudiri family had a bath in the river Pampa and was waiting for a poor man to feed. He suddenly saw a boy in rags. After having the meal, the boy vanished. He was spotted near the Aranmulla temple but disappeared again. Brahmin concluded the boy was God himself. Since then, Brahmin brought food to Aranmulla temple every year... more

Legends of Onam

The Legend of King Mahabali | The Legend of Boat Palliodam | The Legend of Vanishing Boy

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