Onavillu in Onam Festival Kerala

    Onavillu charthal is an important ritual during Onam Festival in Kerala, India. Onam in Kerala is considered a festival of prosperity and Thiruvonam day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Maha Vishnu where large numbers of devotees visit Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum to take part in the Onavillu charthal or the dedication ceremony of the colorful bows.

    The bows are first offered to the family deity at the Vilayil Veedu, Karamana for three days and on Thiruvonam day the villus are ceremoniously taken to the Sree Padmanabha Temple. Onavillus are neatly displayed on the new cloth at the Natakasala at 5 AM before being offered to the deity. The musicians render Raag Bilhari and the villus is taken as a procession along the corridor before taking it to the Abhisravana Mandapam. Here red tassels and coconut fronds are tied. The Onavillu are removed on the third day. The Temple Trust distributes the Onavillu to devotees, for which advance booking is necessary.
    Picture of Onavillu during Onam Festival in Kerala

    Onavillu the ceremonial bow that is offered to Anantha Padmanabhaswamy at Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple is a part of the annual rituals during Onam festival season. Considering it as a symbol of prosperity, the ceremonial bow is in great demand from devotees who take it home to be carefully preserved.

    Legend behind the origin of Onavillu

    Legend says that when King Mahabali was pushed down to earth by Vamana he requested to allow him to visit his beloved land and people every year and also he is able to see the Lord during this period. Vamana, avatar of Lord Vishnu granted him the boon and said that King Mahabali would be able to see him and his avatars only in the form of painted images. Hence the divine architect Lord Viswakarma was entrusted to do the painting of Dasavatharam on pieces of Kadambu wood. Thus Onavillu was born which is displayed every year for King Mahabali to see.

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Onavillu in Onam Festival Kerala

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