Thrikkakara - The Land Where Onam Is Born


When Jains reached Kerala, Thrikkakara was the main centre, where the state was ruled by a generous ruler Theerthankaran. To get monopoly of Vaisnavities, they defeated the king and took over the control of the kingdom. To avoid blames from people to remove the good ruler, Vaishnavaites gave Theerthankaran a decorated space, who later came to be known by the name Mahabali. Certain historians believe that this is the real story of Onam and Maveli.


The only Vamana temple of Kerala at Thrikkakara – Thrikkakara is a place belonging to Ernakulam district which is believed to be the birth place of Onam. It is 10km north to Ernakulam where the only Vamana temple of Kerala is situated. There are two opinions on who installed the temple – Parasurama or Saint Kapila. Some people believe that 6th avatar of Lord Vishnu, Parasurama made the temple for 5th avatar – Vamana. But the pond near the temple ‘Kapila theerthakulam’ is linked to Kapila too – says historians. Place used to collect flowers later came to be known as Pookkaattupadi; the place where rice husk for meals were disposed became Umichira and Kalabhasery where royal elephants were kept now became Kalamassery.


Travancore kings ruled Thrikkakara – When male heirs were absent in the state Thrikkakara, which was earlier called Kalkara, Melshanti of Thrikkakara temple - Idapalli assumed power. When Idapalli married from Royal Kochi Kingdom, he gave Kochi and a few places to Perumpadappu Swaroopam which was disliked by many family members. They attacked Idapalli with the help of Malabar Zamorin. They believed that Thrikkakkarayappam was the prosperity and success behind Idapally Raja’s. Kochi Raja later provided enough helps to Dutchman Martin De Souza and they looted and destroyed the temple. In the year 1820, British gave the state to Kochi Raja. Edapally was not willing to live under the monopoly of Kochi and hence in 1825, he gave the whole kingdom to Travancore.


Onam outside Kerala – In the famous Thirupathi temple, Onam celebrations are conducted every year in the month of Chingam. Madevan Thirupathi is equal to Trikkakara Appan. Some believe that Mahabali was the ruler of Asseeriya and a celebration equivalent to Onam is there. Manapada of Thirunelveli also shares a similar story. In their beliefs, a king named Sreebali ruled the state 1300 years ago whose kingdom extended till Kanjirapally of Kerala.


28 days of Onam celebrations at Trikkakara earlier - From Thiruvonam star of Karkidakom to next Chingam, celebrations extended for exactly one month when Chera Empire ruled Kerala. Local kings also participate in the festivals. Kodungallur was their capital. The celebrations start by Kodiyettam at Thrikkakara temple and last 10 days were celebrated in a grand way. Onam Sadya was given in the last three days and there were elephant festivals too. But hatred between local rulers brought an end to such celebrations. It’s also said that as it was not able to control the crowd which participated every year in the celebrations, Perumal granted permission to subjects to conduct celebrations at homes for 10 years, by giving offerings to Thrikkakara Appan. Now also in Malabar and Mid-Kerala, there is a practice to make the statue of Thrikkarayappan and place it near Attam, the flower offerings.  

Article Posted By : Sandhya RanilView All Articles

So many tales behind Onam celebrations

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Thrikkakara , Thrikkakara Appan , origin of Onam


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