10 day saga of Pookalam : flower decoration during Onam

Piyush Kukrety expresses his Kala-Shakti and takes us through a visually enticing journey of Pookalams (traditional flower decoration of Kerala) using various flowers and leaves sourced from his own surroundings.

Onam, the widely celebrated festival of God’s own country – Kerala, started off as a simple harvest festival. Over the years it became a confluence of nature-culture, a saga of myth-history and all about the joy of little things coming together to awaken our sensory connection with the world. It is a festival that is about ayurvedic way of eating, giving way to one’s expression – Kala shakti through pookalam (traditional flower decoration) Thiruvathira (Kerala’s traditional folk dance), Pulikali (folk art form), Onam games. Overall an opportunity to be grateful for all that mother nature gives us as the bounty of this harvest festival. 

Onam is celebrated over a period of 10 days, and on each day there is a tradition of making Kalams (floor designs) with flowers.

Piyush shares ‘I decided to make Pookalams all by myself this year. Traditionally these Pookalams are made with flowers bought from the local florists or flower market. Due to these challenging lock down times, I wasn’t hopeful that I find a lot of them in and around my area. However something within me nudged me to explore nature in my own vicinity. I would set out on my bicycle daily exploring and I would end up collecting several beautiful varieties of flowers. The need for visiting the florist thus never arose. These 10 days have enabled me to understand my surroundings better. I am now more familiar with the trees and plants thriving around me, and I’m glad that they make life more happy and beautiful just by existing!’

Here are the ten stunning flower decoration designs:

Onam Day 1 – Atham
Onam Day 2 – Chithira
Day 3 – Chothi
Day 4 – Vishakham
Day 5 – Anizham
Day 6 – Thriketta
Day 7 – Moolam
Day 8 – Pooradam
Day 9 – Uthradam
Day 10 – Thiruvonam
Onam Sadhya ( Traditional food) offering
Symbolic Deity – Lord Vishnu as Vamana and Maaveli ( King Mahabali)
Listed Under Topics Kala Prerna

Author: Piyush Kukrety

A culture enthusiast, he is currently pursuing Masters in Comparative Religious Studies from New Delhi, India. He enjoys learning about different facets of Indian culture. He is passionate about traditional  cooking and spends a lot of time reading about local foods. The architecture of Temples, science of rituals and traditions of Deity worship fascinates him. He is particularly keen on exploring various cultures, religions across India, give expression and relevance to them in today’s modern society.

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