Conducted every year on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam (Leo), the event held at the historical town of Thripunithura is a celebration of a legendary victory of the Raja (King) of Kochi. In olden days it was customary for the king to travel with his entire entourage to the Thripunithura fort. This was also the occasion for his subjects to greet the king and see him at close quarters. The procession, now without the king, still retains its majestic charm, and is conducted in a spectacular manner.
Caparisoned elephants, varieties of folk art forms, floats, musical ensembles etc form part of the procession.
Onam is the most popular festival of the Malayalees and can be traced to the primitive harvest festival and also to the myth regarding King Mahabali – the benevolent asura ruler who brought peace and prosperity to his country.
History of Athachamayam Festival in Cochin
In earlier times, Athachamayam Festival in Cochin was celebrated in memory of the legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi. On the Atha Chamayam festival day, the Maharaja of Kochi undertook the Attachamayam march from Tripunithura to the Vamanamoorthy Temple in Thrikkakara (also known as Thrikkakara Temple). Though the era of Kings had ended, the festival is still celebrated with all its glory to mark the beginning of state festival of Kerala, Onam or Thiruonam.
The temple town of Tripunithura is located just 12 km south-east of Kochi city. Tripunithura is well connected by road with other major towns and cities in the state.
Tripunithura Railway Station, managed by the Southern Railways, lies on the Ernakulam – Trivandrum railway line. Some of the major trains passing through Tripunithura Railway Station are Mumbai – Kanyakumari Express, Thiruvananthapuram – Bilaspur Express, Malabar Express (Thiruvananthapuram – Mangalore), and Thiruvananthapuram – Shoranur (Venda Express).
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport.
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