Onam Goes Online, Florally
New Delhi, September 7: The famous Onam festival of God’s Own Country has taken a floral route to the virtual world of celebrations this year.
An innovative ‘pookalam’ or floral design, the hallmark of the harvest festival, adds colours to the much-visited website of the Kerala Tourism Department. The colourful flower-bed is made of mindboggling 600 video clips about Kerala, from the traditional Onam cuisine to the enchanting backwaters to the Ayurveda to the calm beaches of Kerala.
The most important day of the Onam celebrations called ‘Thiruonam’ falls on September 9 this year. ‘Pookalam’ is a popular feature of Onam. During the festival, homes in Kerala are decked up with floral designs, small and big, in the courtyards. The virtual ‘pookalam’ is posted on the Kerala Tourism website (www.keralatourism.org).
The online flower decoration (http://www.keralatourism.org/pookalam/pookalam.php) offers a captivating tour through the diverse and fascinating facets of Kerala, which is hailed as one of the must-see destinations in the world.
“Onam is the most important festival for Keralites and it invokes nostalgia in every Malayalee, especially those staying outside the State,” said Honourable Kerala Tourism Minister Shri A P Anil Kumar.
The Tourism Minister said apart from sharing the home scenes with the non-resident Keralites by giving a virtual journey through video clippings, the Government also wanted to take this unique experience to the whole world, especially to the prospective visitors. “It is going to be as tasty as a sumptuous Onam feast,’’ he said referring to the virtual ‘Pookalam’.
Every click on a petal in the ‘pookalam’, conceptualised and designed by Invis Multimedia, Thiruvananthapuram, takes the visitor through scenic destinations, different tourism products, cultural events, traditional cuisines and social facets. According to the Tourism Department, the video collection is aimed at giving a complete feeling of Kerala in its fullness.
There are more than 600 videos on the list of thump images on the ‘pookalam’, including the snakeboat races in Alappuzha and Aranmula, the majestic Thrissur pooram and even recipes of more than 30 traditional dishes. There are also video clips of more than 200 destinations in God’s Own Country. Each thump image is linked to a corresponding video that the user can open with a double click.
“Almost every aspect of Kerala is represented in the virtual ‘pookalam’,” said Shri Anil Kumar.
The ‘pookalam’, also called ‘Athapookalam’ or ‘Onapookalam’, consists of a series of rings, believed to be representing different deities. Starting from ‘Atham’ (10 days ahead of Onam), Keralites decorate their courtyards with ‘pookalam’ in rich and vibrant varieties of flowers.
For Details: Anil S (09446359844), M R Hari (09447019749)
An online ``Pookalam'' comprising 600 fascinating video clips about Kerala has been developed by Kerala Tourism and posted on its website (http://www.keralatourism.org/pookalam/pookalam.php) in connection with `Onam' when every home in Kerala is decked up with such colourful floral designs.