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ONAM LEGENDS

ONAM LEGENDS

It’s yet another season of Onam, one of the biggest and the most important festivals of the state of Kerala. With joy and enthusiasm, people of all communities celebrate Onam to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. What’s the legend behind this joyous festival? Have you ever wondered? As with any other legend, the origin of Onam differs in different regions of India. There are a couple of stories associated with Mahabali and Onam and in most cases, they’re similar with only minute differences. Here we’ll discuss these legends of Onam.

According to the Vedic texts of Hinduism, the Hindu God Vishnu, the creator who in three steps defined all there is in the universe took the form of a dwarf monk Brahmin called Vamana. Vamana is the fifth avatar of Vishnu. He incarnates in a time of crisis and to restore balance to the universe by creatively vanquishing the asura (demon) king Mahabali with superfluous powers over the universe. According to Hindu mythology, the demon king sponsors a sacrifice and gift giving ceremony to all to reinforce his power after his exploits and triumph over the universe.

Vamana appears at this function and when it’s his turn to receive the gift from asura king, Mahabali offers him that he shall have any riches and material wealth his heart desires. Vamana refuses all the riches he was offered and said he would like just three steps worth of land. Mahabali accepted his request and said he can have three steps of land anywhere he wants. Vamana then grows into a giant the size of the universe. He takes the first step to cover the earth, the second step he takes covers the heavens. For the third step, there was no land left hence Mahabali offers his head on which Vamana can step as his third step. Vamana steps on Mahabali’s head to send the demon king to the underworld (Patala).

Vamana’s giant form is also known as Trivikrama which literally means three steps to indicate the three steps he took to vanquish the asura king to patala. However, just like any other legends, there are so many versions of this story. The Vamana legend is popular and is the inspiration to icons found in Hindu temples and sections found in Hindu Vedic texts. There are about thirty different versions of his mythology in ancient texts.

Keralites knows the legend of Mahabali a bit differently. Mahabali even though he was an asura (demon) king, he was a benevolent king. Mahabali was the great-grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the grandson of Prahlada and the son of Virochana. Vishnu descended as the Vamana avatar to restore the authority of Indra deva over the heavens, as it had been taken by the benevolent asura King Mahabali. The dwarf Brahmin avatar, Vamana carried a wooden umbrella when he went to see the asura king to request three spaces of land. Even though his guru, Sukracharya strongly advised against accepting this request, Mahabali granted the brahmin’s request. By stepping on Mahabali’s head, Vamana gave the king immortality in return for his humility. Mahabali was allowed to return once every year to see the citizens of his country.

For Keralites, the day of Mahabali’s visit is celebrated as Onam festival while for the rest of the country this is celebrated on the first day of Diwali. It represents the return of Mahabali to visit the earth once every year in August-September to see his people. Some ancient texts also mention that Vamana gave the lordship of the underworld to Mahabali.

In a similar version, Mahabali is believed to have received all his power by defeating the Hindu gods (Devas) and taking over the three worlds. Vaishnavism mythology indicates the defeated gods approached Vishnu for his help in the battle with Mahabali, for which he refused to use violence against Mahabali since he was a good ruler and his own devotee. Vishnu instead of joining the gods decided to test his devotee. When Mahabali declared that he’s going to perform Yajna (homa sacrifices) and grant anyone any request during the Yajna, Vishnu took the Vamana avatar and used it as an opportunity to test Mahabali’s devotion.

Even if there are different versions they’re all somewhat similar and conveys the same important message about Onam, that it’s a festival for prosperity and benevolence.
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Rooms In Guruvayoor

Rooms In Guruvayoor

Coming to Guruvayoor is like a spiritual calling for most Hindus. Guruvayoor holds a mesmerising appeal to everyone with the several temples and shrines that are scattered all over this small town, the most magnificent being undoubtedly, the great temple of Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna).
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Because of the sheer volume of devotees that pour in from all parts of India and abroad daily to visit this temple, real estate has been flourishing really well here. Many of the houses and flats bought in Guruvayoor are rented out by their owners on daily basis to pilgrims coming to this town for a day or two. Hotels have sprung up in Guruvayoor like mushrooms after the rain, and offer luxury rooms with all basic facilities and comforts. Most of the well-known hotels like Bhasuri Inn are centered around the temple premises, so that devotees can visit the temple on foot for attending the daily prayers and rituals. It is easy to find yourself a room for stay once you are in Guruvayoor, but a little exploring can strike you the best deal.

If you are low on budget and traveling singly, renting a flat for a day would be the best option. Some provide the facility to self cook your meals too. For a group, you may consider a homestay or a hotel.

There are several nice hotels in Guruvayoor to choose from. Bhasuri Inn – Rooms In Guruvayoor stands out from other hotels with its outstanding hospitality experience. Bhasuri Inn gives its guests the pleasure of easy booking through its website or mobile app, and regularly launches seasonal offers exclusively for its customers. The rooms and facilities are done up in international style, with a multi-cuisine restaurant, a coffee shop and a banquet hall to complete the picture. Many grand weddings have been solemnised in the banquet hall that can seat around 650 guests.

If you are planning to coming to Guruvayoor, it would be advisable to book rooms in advance, as Bhasuri Inn and other good hotels provide attractive discounts for advance booking. Bhasuri Inn – Rooms In Guruvayoor are available for a wide range of budgets and offer all the comforts of a pleasant, hassle-free stay. You also get updated information on the various places of interest in Guruvayoor and nearby areas from our front-desk or through our mobile app.

If you are looking for a place to unwind and experience the divine atmosphere of Guruvayoor, there is no comfortable place like Bhasuri Inn. The warm, fresh atmosphere and friendly staff will make your stay a most memorable one.
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Experience the splendour of Guruvayoor

Experience the splendour of Guruvayoor

Guruvayur is a relatively small yet well connected town, less than 30 km away from Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. It is most popular for the magnificent, centuries-old temple, the Guruvayoor Temple. The temple is not only majestic in sight, but also has a divine power that attracts people in huge numbers daily. The Guruvayoor temple is crowded throughout the year, every single day. More crowded on special occasions and festivals, it is considered a big blessing to have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the deity after standing in queues for hours at an end. <>Rooms Near Guruvayoor Temple

Rooms near guruvayoor temple
The deity, Lord Guruvayoorappan, is Lord Vishnu Himself, in the form of Sri Krishna incarnate.The idol is believed to have existed from the era of the various incarnations Lord Vishnu took to destroy evil and protect the good. Hindus believe that the idol is the symbol of the supreme divine protection Lord Vishnu offers his devotees.

The temple opens at 3 AM, with a ceremony called Nirmalya Pooja. The idol of Lord Krishna, still adorned in the garlands of the previous day yet still looking full of splendour, is a sight not to be missed. It is believed that Gods come down from heaven to visit the deity in the night.
The deity is then bathed and adorned with garlands, bright clothes and ornaments. He now appears as the playful child Krishna. Rice and sweet offerings follow, and a procession called Sheeveli is performed where the deity is placed on top of an elephant, and goes around the temple thrice, followed by a trail of devotees. By 9 AM, the temple is open for devotees to have a glimpse of Lord Guruvayoorappan. The sheeveli repeats in the evening and night, with several poojas and offerings done at designated times in between. In the evening, a special ceremony called deeparadhana is performed. The entire temple comes to life with thousands of lit lamps illuminating the temple in all grandeur. The smell of incense, the blow of conches and drum beats fill the air, taking the devotee into the deep realms of an absolutely divine experience. A third sheeveli is performed in the night before the temple closes at 9:15 PM.

Krishnanattom: This is a beautiful dance form with rhythmic movements, performed by highly skilled artists to the tune of songs sung about the life of Lord Krishna, from birth till ascension to heaven. This art form is performed on demand of devotees everyday at the Guruvayoor temple.

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Krishnanattam

Chembai Music Festival: This grand musical event is held as part of Ekadashi Festival in November-December, in loving memory of the famous musician Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagawathar. More than 2000 musicians gather in Guruvayoor to recite the classics of carnatic music for 12-15 days. This festival is becoming more popular with each passing year.

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Chembai Music Festival

Guruvayoor Utsav: This is a 10-day festival of the temple in the month of February-March. It hosts various events like elephant race, flag hoisting, and dance and art forms. The entire temple is illuminated with brilliant colourful lights, and there is a modest fireworks display without use of explosives. Not only the temple premises, but the whole town wears a festive look with brightly decorated streets and houses.

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Guruvayoor Temple Utsavam

Coming to Guruvayoor is a blessing on its own. This place of magical natural beauty and rich traditions is sure to steal the heart of any traveller interested in Kerala’s history. For any Hindu devotee, Guruvayoor is a land of absolute bliss, and nothing can describe the pleasure of getting to see the Lord in all glory after waiting for hours in a hustling crowd of devotees, each trying to catch a glimpse of the deity.

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