Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Vaikom
About Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
As per the popular legend associated with the establishment of Vaikom Temple, Kharasura offers prayers to Lord Shiva at Chidambaram. Impressed by his devotion, Lord Shiva presents three holy Shiva Lingams to Kharasura. Assuring him to be present in these Lingams, Shiva suggests Kharasur to worship them to get Moksha (salvation). He moves towards south from Himalayas holding two of the Lingams in each hand and the third one in mouth. He feels tired and stops at Vaikom. Keeping the Shiva lingam on the ground, he rests for a while. After resting, he realizes that it has been affixed at that place. Therefore, he installs the other two Lingams too, one each at Ettumanoor and Kaduthuruthy.
Being one of the most notable and bigger temples in Kerala, this Mahadeva temple extends its courtyard, covering about 8 acres of the surrounding land. The temple premises stands elegant, protected by four towers. The entrance hall is built with single piece woods, giving it a glorious look. The sanctum, being the second chamber, is built completely using stone, including the aquare shaped roof. In order to get the divine darshan of Lord Shiva, one must cross the six steps, also compared to be the six major emotions namely Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Madha and Mathsarya.
Vaikom is 32 kms from Kottayam. The main bus stand is at a walkable distance of 900 m from the temple. Buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis are available almost all the time to reach the temple.
The nearest rail head is the Vaikom Railway station at a distance of 12 kms from the temple.
The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of 58 kms from the temple.
Vaikom Ashtami is the most important festival celebrated in this temple. Also called as Vaikathashtami, the festival is celebrated on the auspicious day of Krishna Ashtami. There is a history behind the festival, stating that the Sage Vyaghrapada revered Lord Shiva highly, with sincere devotion, as a result of which Lord Shiva appeared in front of him on this particular day. As a rememberance of this incident, Vaikathashtami is celebrated. As the festival extends for almost 12 days, the final day is known as Vaikathashtami.