Athachamayam marks the beginning of the ten-day Onam festival in Kerala. the festival is still celebrated with all its glory to mark the beginning of state festival of Kerala, Onam or Thiruonam. 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.
Though at first the Kochi Kings started the Atha Chamayam from Hill Palace to Thrikkakkara Vamana Moorthy Temple, later after King Zamorin invaded Vanneri, a provinces which was under the control of Kochi State
Kochi Kings decided to confine Atha Chamayam just inside the Tripunithura, the Head Quarter of Kochi Kings. At a time when we try to conceal the bitter realities of the “Present” with the nostalgic memories of those bygone hey days, the relevance of these festival has been increasing in our day to day life.
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