Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

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Floral carpets are an essential part of Onam.

Starting from Atham to Thiruvonam, Malayalis across the globe decorated their homes with floral carpets.

Legend has it that the floral carpets on each day represent the 10 incarnations (Dashavatharam) of Lord Vishnu.

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu
(From left to right) Malavika, Sunil, Seema, Rajeev, Nirupama, Rajlakshmi and Madhav.

Here are the floral carpets designed by two Kerala women – IT professional Rajalakshmi and Dr. Seema – who live in Bengaluru. "This became possible by the co-ordinated effort of seven members from both the families," Rajalakshmi said.

Atham (August 22)

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Atham marks the beginning of Onam festivities. This year Ganesh Chaturthi was also celebrated on the same day. We began our Dashavatharam floral carpet with Mathsya Avatharam.

Chithira (August 23)

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The second day of Onam is the day of Chithira Nakshatram (star). Our theme for the day was Kurma Avataram, the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Chothi (August 24)

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Third day of Onam festival is marked by Chothi Nakshatram and we dedicated our floral carpet to Lord Vishnu's Varaha Avataram.

Vishakham (August 25)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

On the fourth day of Onam, the floral carpet was designed like Narasimha. Lord Vishnu took this fourth incarnation of half lion and half man to destroy evil forces.

Anizham (August 26)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

The fifth day's floral design was an umbrella, which was gracefully held aloft by Lord Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Thrikketa (August 27)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

The sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is Parashurama, who, according to folklore, created Kerala. Hence, the floral carpet was an attempt to capture Kerala's resplendent colours through a vivid mix of floral petals.

Moolam (August 28)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

Lord Rama occupied the centre stage of the day's floral carpet because the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu was Lord Rama, the righteous king who overcame all evil forces to protect his people.

Pooradam (August 29)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

Balarama is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. So the floral carpet had the design of a plough, which is considered to be his weapon. The conch symbolizes Buddha's resonant call to awaken his followers. Buddha is also believed to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Uthradom (August 30)

Onam floral carpet designs and the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu

The day's floral carpet had peacock feather and flute, the constant accessories of Krishna, the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Thiruvonam (August 31)

Thiruvonam

Kalki is the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the floral carpet is resplendent with colours. The clay pyramid structure with four faces symbolizes Thrikakkarappan or Onathappan , a representation of Mahabali visiting Malayalis once a year to show that he cares for his people.

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