A rustic ambience to Onam celebrations

Visitors to Kerala during the forthcoming Onam can look forward to ‘Onam Special Village Life Experiences’, aimed at reaching out to foreigners and the natives through the traditions and festivities of the harvest festival.

Enthused by the overwhelming response to the maiden “Nattinpurangalil Onam Unnam, Onasammanangal Vangam’ launched last year by Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission set up under Kerala Tourism, the scheme has been revamped to attract more tourists by incorporating suggestions made by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

As many as 563 tourists chose the scheme last year and 151 of them were foreign tourists, 268 domestic tourists and 154 Keralites. The income generated from the scheme was Rs. 7. 27 lakh. “We expect more tourists to participate in the scheme this year and provide more revenue to the villagers,” the Minister said.

Those who come by own vehicles for ‘Onam Special Gramayatrakal’ at select villages in the State can leave after a sumptuous ‘Onasadya’ and ‘Onasammanangal’ that include half-kg banana chips, onakodi, handicraft product, pappad and ‘seed pen’. the cost of the package is Rs. 3,000 for a four-member family with two children up to 12 years.

Balaramapuram and Madavoorpara in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kunhimangalam in Kannur, Muravanthurthu and Chembu in Vaikom Taluk, Manjira, Varaminakom, Aymanom and Thiruvarappu in Kumarakom, Bekal in Kasaragod, Olavanna and Kadalundi in Kozhikode district, Chekadi, Cheruvayal and Nellarachal in Wayanad district are the selected villages.

Those who wish to stay overnight and experience ‘Onam Special Gramayatrakal’ can opt for tailor-made package that will cost Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 depending on the category of accommodation. Breakfast, Onasadya, dinner and onasammangal are included.

Classified homestays

Classified homestays across the State have been roped. They have to register before August 10 for providing the package, the Tourism Minister said on Friday.

Packages that offer the traditional Onasadya have been worked out. Individual homes, traditional food outlets, Kudumbasree restaurants, catering units, homestays, wayside eateries and approved hotels registered with RT Mission can offer the onasadya priced at Rs. 250 per person. Such places will have to display the posters and banners downloaded from the website.

Special packages

Packages to experience the rustic life have been included.

In the Kumarakom package, a three-hour trip through the backwaters, coir-making, coconut tree-climbing and onasadya has been included.

A four-member family will have to pay Rs. 4,500 for this package. The package that includes Village trip, Onasammangal and Thiruvathira dance will cost Rs. 8,500 for a family of four.

Similar tailor-made packages costing Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 5,000 have been worked out for Vaikom, Bekal, Kannur, Kozhikode and Thekkady. Two packages are available for those who choose Thiruvananthapuram.

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