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What does Onathappan mean? What is Onathappan and its significance?
Onathappan (ഓണത്തപ്പൻ) is a clay pyramid structure with four faces and a flat top used during Onam celebrations symbolizes Thrikkakara Appan or Thrikakkarappan (തൃക്കാക്കരയപ്പൻ). This unique structure represents Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. For some people, the pyramid represents both King Maveli and Vishnu. It is also referred to as Onathappan. Thrikkakara Appan structure or Onathappan is made using clay or mud and generally, it has four faces with a flat top. In some places, the structure is in the shape of a cone.
Thrikkakarappan Clay Pyramid Onathappan
Thrikkakarappan is the presiding deity in the famous Thrikakkara temple in Ernakulam District of Kerala and is closely associated with the Onam myth. It is believed that Vamana വാമന had sent Mahabhali മഹാബലിto Patalam at Trikkakara. The place where the holy feet (Trikkal) of Vishnu touched came to be known as Trikkalkara. This later became Thrikkakara.
While welcoming King Mahabali to the homes, people place Thrikkakara Appan on a bed made of rice flour and is decked with flowers and pujas are performed. It is also placed along with the Athapookalam - the special floral arrangement done during Onam.
How do I use Onathappan?
Onathappan is generally placed in a bed of rice flour and flowers. The four phases of Onathappan means the four phases of human life. It is usually placed with athapookkalam or the flower carpet that is put during Onam season
Dimensions of Onathappan, Clay Pyramid for Onam, Onathappan for Athapookalam