Visits since 1 Apr 2023 11,258,873
Visits since 1 Jan 2007 53,120,462
Heli Tourism

Enchanting Kerala


ISSUE: 336


Pookkalam - Vibrant, Vivid & Virtuous
High Resolution Image

Pookkalam - Vibrant, Vivid & Virtuous

The very sight of Pookkalam or flower carpet ushers in the warmth and vibrancy of Onam festival to our hearts. Also known as Athapookkalam or Onapookkalam, it is set up on the floors of homes or public places during the Onam festival in the Malayalam month of Chingam [August-September] to mark the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali.

According to the legend, King Mahabali was sent to netherworld by Lord Vishnu after being tested for his devotion. But Mahabali was granted a boon so that he could visit his kingdom once every year. People welcome their king by laying Pookkalam at the entrance of their homes, public places and institutions.

Pookkalam starts on the first day (Atham) of the 10-day Onam festival. On the first day, only a single type of flower is used to create the floral carpet, and on the second day, two different flowers are used, and the variety of flowers keeps increasing correspondingly, until on the final day, 10 different flowers are used to make an elaborate floral decoration. 

Normally, the Pookkalam is round in shape and filled with colourful flower petals. The Pookkalam is laid out in ten small rings or low circular steps which are believed to represent ten different deities. There is also a belief that the Pookkalam defines the fight between Asuras and Devas. 

Thumba (Ceylon Slitwort), Tulasi (Holy Basil), Chethi (Flame of the Woods), Chemparathy (Shoe Flower), Sankhupushpam (Butterfly Pea), Jamanthi (Marigold), Mandaram (Bauhinia Acuminata), Kongini (Lantana), Hanuman Kereedam (Red Pagoda Flower) and Mukuthi (Tridax Procumbens) are some of the flowers commonly used in Pookkalam.

This floral carpet symbolizes the spirit of unity and teamwork, and there are Pookkalam competitions in institutions and offices during the Onam festival.

To have a glimpse of the Pookkalam, check the following link:

  Topics: Festival   Culture   Onam  

District Tourism Promotion Councils KTDC KTIL Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society BRDC Sargaalaya SIHMK Responsible Tourism Mission KITTS Adventure Tourism Muziris Heritage saathi nidhi Sahapedia
Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695 033
Phone: +91 471 2321132, Fax: +91 471 2322279, E-mail:
All rights reserved © Kerala Tourism 2024. Copyright | Terms of Use | Cookie Policy | Contact Us.
Developed & Maintained by Invis.
We use cookies to improve user experience, and analyze website traffic. For these reasons, we may share your site usage data with our analytics partners. More info. CLOSE