A grand harvest festival, Onam is an important celebration in Kerala. The festival celebrates the homecoming of King Mahabali, a popular ruler in the state. The Malyali month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) is when the Onam takes place in Kerala. The festival is ten days long celebration and each day has its own significance. Onam is the perfect reflection of the rich culture of the state, and thus marks as a must see in Kerala.
The legend has it that Mahabali was a popular king of Kerala and the Gods of heaven took this fact as a challenge. In order to curb the growing popularity of Mahabali, Aditi, the mother of Gods seeked help of Lord Vishnu whom Mahabali worshiped. So, Lord Vishnu took form of a dwarf and a poor Brahmin called Vamana and headed out to meet Mahabali. And while the king was performing his morning prayers, Lord Vishnu approached him and asked for as much piece of land which he could cover by his three steps. The King though surprised, agreed to fulfill his wish. Vishnu instantly grew his size and in three steps covered the entire earth and sky, which made the king believe that he was no ordinary sage. Vishnu then revealed himself to Mahabali and granted him a boon, in which the king asked to return to Kerala annually.