Onam is perhaps the most important festival in the state of Kerala. Onam is a time when the state of Kerala is filled with joy and excitement. The people of the state celebrate the festival with a lot of pomp and fervor.
Flower carpets, Onamsadhya and fairs make the Onam celebrations truly an experience.
When we speak of Onam, the Thrikkakakara temple arguably has the most vibrant and important celebration. Thrikkakara is a place in the Cochin area in the State of Kerala.
The Maha Vishnu Temple at Thrikkakara boasts the distinction of being one among the few temples all over India to have the Vamana avatar as the presiding deity.
Read on to learn more about the Thrikkakara Vamana temple and the Onam celebrations followed in the temple.
One Among The Divya Deshams
There are around 108 Divya deshams in our country. These temples are dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu and visiting these temples is considered to be auspicious for any devotee of Lord Maha Vishnu. The Thrikkakkara temple is one among these temples and plays a very important part in the Vaishnav sect.
Vamana Avatar is counted as the 5th among the Dashavataars of Lord Maha Vishnu. This avatar is important because it is the first avatar that had a human form. The Vamana was born as a dwarf in a Brahmin family.
Legend Of Onam
It is said that once there lived a just and kind King named Bali. He was rapidly growing in power due to his character and spiritual work. He had begun to perform a yagnya to increase his power. Lord Indra grew worried that the popularity of King Bali would grow to an extent that he would eventually replace Indra.
Lord Indra asked Lord Maha Vishnu for help. He took an avatar as a Brahmin boy. As the yagnya was in progress, Vamana approached the King and asked for alms.
It is a rule that no Brahmin should be turned away during the Yagnya. Therefore, the King agreed in spite of the warning from his Guru, Shukracharya.
Vamana went on to ask for land that can be measured by three steps of his feet. The King agreed. As soon as the King agreed, Vamana grew in size and with one of his steps, he measured the skies. With another step, he took up all of the earth. Now, he had nowhere to put his third step.
He asked the King for one more step. For the fulfillment of his oath, he bent down and offered his head to step on. with his last step, Lord Maha Vishnu pushed Bali to the nether lands, allowing him to return to earth only on the Onam day.
Onam And Thrikkakara
It is said that the Thrikkakara temple now stands at the very place that the Lord Maha Vishnu pushed Bali into the ground. You can still see an altar dedicated to the brave and just Bali.
Onam Celebrations At Thrikkakara In The Bygone Ages
Onam was once a month-long festival. The ruler of Kochi would come to this temple every year to pay his respects to the Lord Vamana. There were 64 chiefs of the local communities who would also arrive to pray to Lord Vamana.
Onam Celebrations At Thrikkakara today
The festival lasts for 10 days today. On each day, the idol of Vamana is decorated to depict the 10 avatars of Lord Maha Vishnu with a special emphasis on the Vamana avatar.