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Kerala is the land of lakes, lagoons and festivals.  After the long spell of monsoon rain the sky becomes blue again, the traditional festivals start to bloom throughout Kerala out of which ONAM stands out significantly.  Along with the enchanting natural beauty which dazzles every human eye, Kerala also owns a resplendent cultural and artistic tradition which reflects in her festivals and fairs.

 The unique national festival of Kerala, 'Onam' celebrated with ever growing zest by the entire people of this state irrespective of religion, caste or creed.  Perhaps the elequant artistic display is a legacy of the cultural past of Kerala.  One of the important event of 'ONAM' festival is the vegetarian feast( ONAM SADYA ), lavishly served to depict the glorious period of the rule of King Mahabali, a period free from crime, corruption. poverty, illness and exploitatory and when all people were equal.

King Mahabali is a wise and good king, but he belongs to the faction known as the Asuras, or demons.  The gods or Devas are afraid that he might become too powerful.  So they ask Vishnu (also known as the Preserver in the Hindu trinity of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva or Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) to curb his power.  Vishnu takes the form of a dwarf called Vamana and knocks at the gates of Mahabali's palace.  The king receives him politely, feeds him, and offers Vamana a boon. 

'Ask what you will, commands the most powerful ruler in the world. 'Will you give me three paces of land?' asks Vamana. The demon king laughs at the insignificance of the request and agrees at once. 'Remember, once you have promised, you can't go back on your word' the dwarf reminds him. Even as Mahabali agrees to the conditions, the dwarf beings to expand.  With the first step he covers the whole sky, blotting out the stars.  With the second he straddles the nether world.  One more step and the earth will be destroyed.  At that moment, Mahabali realizes that he has been defeated.  He bends his head and offers it as the last step for Vamana. 

The gods rejoice, but since Mahabali was a ruler who loved his people, they agree that he should be allowed to return to them once a year.  The people of Kerala celebrate his return with flower carpets and lights, feasting and new clothes, feats of valour and games and fireworks during the   festival of Onam. 

The women wear their traditional costume: an off-white pure cotton sarong or Mundu with a woven gold border, and a matching breast cloth or thuni, draped across one shoulder over a tight fitting blouse in a contrasting colour.  The Kerala love for gold jewellery, is displayed in cascading go Id necklaces.  Little girls wear tiny gold 'parrot's cage ear rings and, since their mothers are busy presiding over small coconut-frond kiosks, selling fried banana fritters, they cling to their fathers, who sport pencil-thin moustaches and crests of perfumed and oiled hair.

Top Tourist Destinations Guide
Andhra Pradesh :: Arunachal Pradesh :: Dardar & Nagar Haveli :: Delhi :: Goa :: Gujarat :: Himachal Pradesh :: Jammu & Kashmir :: Karnataka :: Kerala :: Lakshadweep :: Madhya Pradesh :: Maharashtra :: Orissa :: Pondicherry :: Punjab :: Rajasthan :: Tamil Nadu ::Uttar Pradesh :: Uttaranchal :: West Bengal

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