Attachamayam marks the beginning of the 10-day Onam festival is an occasion to witness all the folk art forms of Kerala. It happens every year on Atham asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam between August and September; this event held at the historical town of Thripunithura is a celebration of a legendary victory of the King of Kochi. It is also celebrated as a harvest festival. In olden days, it was very important for the king to travel with his entire entourage to the Thripunithura fort located in Kerala state. 

Onam is the most popular festival of the Malayalees and it can be traced to the ancient harvest festival and also to the tale about King Mahabali the ruler who brought peace and prosperity to his country.

The festival features a street parade followed by decorated elephants and floats, musicians, and varieties of folk art forms, which kick off celebrations. 


The eve has interesting beginnings, which can be date back to the Maharaja of Kochi. On this event, he uses to march from Tripunithura to Vamanamoorthy Temple in Thrikkakara. According to the source, it is where the Onam festival originated. The whole town gets festive with decorations, street stalls, and floral arrangements. Teams also compete in rangoli competition. 

Athachamayam is the bygone days; this was the only one day in the year when all the people, irrespective of caste and creed allowed entering inside the fort. However, in the early ’60s, the people of Tripunithura decided to revive the festival. Later on, Athachamayam was renamed as Athaghosham. 

Ever since the formation of the Tripunithura Municipal council in 1980, Athaghosham was conducted under its leadership. Where thousands of artists participate from all over the state, wherein Athachamayam was made a community festival where people from all walks of life actively participated to make festival success. 

This festival brings alive the memories of the Raja Mahabali and his kingdom and also the golden rule of Kochi Maharajas. Athachamayam is a festival of peace and equality. 

What makes it so special is attending the parade of caparisoned elephants, tableaus depicting scenes from history and mythology, colorful floats, classical dances like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, vibrant folk art forms like Pulikali, Theyyam, Kavadiaatam, percussion music like Pandimelam and Panchavadyam, and so on.

During the Atham, the whole town wears a festive look and vendors line up to sell all kinds of wares that include conical clay, mounds representing Mahabali and Vishnu, called Thrikkakara Appan. This is placed at the centre and beautifully decorated coloured flowers on it. 

The event showcases few clothing stalls though out the procession areas that sell both formal and informal ethnic attire that include sarees, lungis, kurtas, and pajamas as well as salwar and kameez. These stalls are set up by local vendors, they add to the overall experience of the devotees at this festival. Foods stall are set up by vendors sell not only typical south Indian food items like dosas and idlis but also snacks and North Indian street food too.

One can also experience the backwaters of Kerala that is water sports during Onam festival which comes alive with decorated floats known as Kalivallangal.  Besides, Kummattikali is the famous mask-dance of Kerala held in the south Malabar region. Small gifts are offered to the performer as a token of gratitude.   Hence, Athaghosham is a unique experience, an event that lingers long in our memory. Hope you visit this place and explore the customs and traditions of Malayalam culture..!!!