Onam celebrations and where to eat in Bangalore

The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam is on August 23 and preparations have already begun in Bangalore. Several restaurants in the city are serving the traditional onam sadya as a part of the celebrations.

Onam is the biggest festival Kerala and it is celebrated with much fanfare even in Bangalore. Onam Festival falls during the Malayali month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali. Carnival of Onam lasts for ten days and brings out the best of Kerala culture and tradition.  

This multi-cultural festival is marked with boat races, Kathakali, detailed flower decorations called Pookalam and an elaborate feast known as Onasadya. The final day of Onam that culminates the 10 days of Onam Carnival is known as Thiru-Onam (Sacred Onam Day). Myth says, it was the day Mahabali was suppressed to underworld by Vamana. The day marks return of Mahabali to his fabled land (Kerala), as per the boon he received from Vamana to meet his subjects and bless them.  

Though a traditional Hindu festival, Onam today has emerged as a secular festival associated with harvest time of Kerala and today is the national festival of the state without distinction of any religion or caste celebrating the return of King Mahabali. 

On Onam, people wake us as early as 4 am and the day begins with getting their home ready. The chief decoration, pookalam, consists of a carpet made out of the gathered blossoms like Thumba (common leucas), Kakka poovu, Thechipoovu, mukkutti (little tree plant), chemparathy (shoe flower), aripoo or Konginipoo (lantana), hanuman kireedom (red pagoda plant) and chethi (ixora). When the carpet is completed, a miniature pandal, hung with little festoons is erected over it. 

Elaborate prayers are recited and special pujas are performed by the senior family member. Lamps are lit up in front of the idols and all members of the house join in for the prayers. Since the festival is that of a harvest celebration, prayers are offered that the harvest in the coming year will be just as bountiful.  After this many families opt to visit a nearby temple. Dressing up in traditional finery also plays an important role and often new clothes are given to every member of the family by the eldest. In some modern families, gifts are sometimes exchanged.  
Once the religious rituals are over, it's time to prepare for the Onasadya, which is the grand meal of the day. Like all festivals, it is the food that remains the most impressive aspect. The grand feast for Onam is called Onasadya, and it is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Served on banana leaves, the family sits on the floor for this elaborate meal served on a fresh banana leaf. There is a fixed order of serving the meal and a set place to serve the various dishes on the leaf. A lot of preparation and hard work goes intro putting this meal together.  

And if you’re in Bangalore and don’t want to miss out on having this traditional meal, then here are some restaurants that are serving onam sadya the traditional way.

Onam Sadya is a tradition at the Ranga Shankara cafe. Anju Sudarshan, the lady who runs the cafe, puts her heart and soul to whip up a buffet that brings the flavours, tastes and colours Kerala to Ranga Shankara. This year, the Onam Sadya lunch is set for 1 PM to 3 PM, Sun, Aug 22. Prior reservation necessary -- please call 9900064931.
Ranga Shankara - 36/2, 8th Cross, J P Nagar, II Phase. Ph: 26592777 
Onam Sadhya is the most delicious part of the majestic festival and Chef Naren Thimmaiah and his team at The Karavalli have put together an elaborate feast comprising traditional delicacies and treats. Savour a variety of 25 traditional dishes like olan, kalan, kichadi and pachadi as well as scrumptious desserts like pal payasam and sharkara varatti. Karavalli is well known for its traditional recipes and authentic coastal cuisine.
The Karavalli - Residency Road, Ph: 080-66604545 

The South Indies restaurants on 100ft road, Indiranagar and Infantry Road have a lovely spread just for Onam with the most delicious spread of the choicest carte du juor. Through these three days enjoy a special Onam lunch buffet for Rs.250+ taxes

South Indies , 840/A,100 Feet Road, Indiranagar : Call : 41636363/ 147 , 4th Floor Chevron Hotel, Opp. Police Commissioner's Office, Infantry Road - Call 41636362 
Tags: onam festival, onam sadya in bangalore, pookalam, onam in bangalore, thiruonam, onasadya


KARTIK Aug 24th, 2010 02:52 PM

hai mr .suman  i want what can do and cannot do on onam festival can send to me on tommorrow very argent 25.082010

Giish Aug 24th, 2010 04:05 AM

You seem to be NUTS...
this is how people across the country celebrate...atleast in big cities...may be ther areno Kannadigas in your place and soo the Ugadi is not celebrate in the same manner as Onam is celebrated in Bengaluru...
if you think this is wrong...please get yourself out of Bengaluru...stop commenting like this...better for you...

Joe Aug 23rd, 2010 01:36 PM

Hey Suman ,
Who u think you are Man ? surely u r a Jack ass isn't it guys...We all live in the same city and share the same space for each other.. most of the people here in this city are from other states for sure , will your f***g mouth say the same thing when u r out of Karnataka...I born brought up here and i do respect all the community but you seems to be a shit out of shit to me....

joseph Aug 23rd, 2010 01:21 PM

Mr. Suman, you are just creating another split india movement. You have such a rubbish thinking which is ruining our society. Do you think your blood is having a different color than of any other indian. Then why the hell are you trying to dig out the state and language differences and put it in a forum. Just be silent if you can not appreciate the goodness of our indian culture "unity in diversity" and if you want to be proud about language go to some villages and stay. 

Cool Kannadiga Aug 23rd, 2010 11:14 AM

Suman, didnt your teacher in school teach you that 'All Indians are my brothers and Sisters', and that 'We are all One'.
Remember 'Unity in Diversity'. Guess time for you to go back to school.
I am from Bangalore and condemn such statements

Sri Aug 23rd, 2010 09:47 AM

hey suman...am a keralite...but since is stay here i do celebrate udagi...u rather take pleasure in takin part in each others celebrations..i ve like 10 of my neighbours who hail from bengalooru joinin me for lunch.. now shitheads like u are an exception...and respondin to somethin like wat u ve wrote itself is a shame...

P Aug 22nd, 2010 09:53 PM

Hey Suman, There is nothing to be shameful about. Sorry to say but, you sound exactly like Raj Thackre.
Its one country and we all are Indians. Please stop traeting any other Indian, as if (s)he is a Pakistani. 

Sahar Adil Aug 22nd, 2010 04:30 PM

Hi Suman , we are talking about people from the same country. There is no question of emigrants. The beauty of India is everyone celebrates all the festivals...and it has nothing to do with what religion you are born into. Has more to do with how everyone comes together and shares and participates in different cultures. :)

Dheeraj Aug 22nd, 2010 11:30 AM

Lets not try to create barriors between states. afterall we all r Indiana. This mentality is what is not making our country developed. I dont know if you have ever visited Kerala, Go to places like Kochin and u can find people from Karnataka living peacefully and as well find Oota over there :)
So lets all be proud to say we are Indians and not Malayali, Kannadiga, Tamilian etc...

kirthan Aug 22nd, 2010 11:20 AM

you people seem to look at the world with a tunnel vision.If you are proud to call bangalore a metropolitan city then why do you feel ashamed of bangalore hotels celebrating onam?
send away all emigrants and you need not be ashamed about their celebrations!Come out of your world then you will know what the world is....

M Aug 22nd, 2010 08:25 AM

There is nothing to be shameful about

anonymus Aug 22nd, 2010 02:25 AM

I AGREE WID U SUMAN......................................

Suman Aug 21st, 2010 02:12 PM

Onam is in Kerala and Bengaluru is preparing, wow what an article.
So in Ugadi will Thiruvananthapuram prepare ugadi oota in their hotels.
What a shame, Bengaluru has become second home for emigrants.

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