Onam celebrations and where to eat in Bangalore
By Staff Reporter | Published: August 21 2010
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
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