Onakalikal is a collective name for the numerous games played on the occasion of Onam. After a sumptuous Onasadhya meal, it's the ideal time to indulge in a little bit of merriment and sports and energetic people of Kerala make the most of it.
There are various kind of games devised for the occasion for people with different temperaments. While the old and the sober ones go in for indoor games like chess (Chathurangam), cards and dice, the young and energetic love to participate in the outdoor and robust games. These games are traditional ones and have only minor regional variation from what we see in other parts of the country.
Onakalikal also include combats, which are essentially a show of strength and physical might of the people of Kerala. Kayyankali and Attakalam are two such combats. Of the two, Kayyankali is more violent where people fight one to one with their fists.
For those who love shooting, there is a game of archery too, called Ambeyyal. It is an interesting event where bamboo bows and blunted arrows are used. People divide themselves into two teams and try to deprive each other of their stock of arrows. Though not meant to be violent, many a player get wounded in this.
The other two interesting games played on the occasion are a ball game called Talappanthukali and a variation of Kabaddi locally called Kutukutu.