Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest and ancient temple in Kerala. It is located at Vaikom in Kottayam district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to workship of lord Shiva known as Annadanaprabhu in local language.Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is is one of the main pilgrim centers of the south. The Vaikom Mahadeva temple is held in venerate by both Shaivaites and the Vaishnavaites.Vaikom’s Shiva is lovingly called Vaikkathappan.The Shiva Linga here is believed to be from the ‘Treta yuga’and conceived as one of the oldest temples in Kerala where pooja has not been broken since inception.The Lord here is known as Vaikkathappan.The temple at Vaikom was established when the demon Khara of Ramayana a great devotee of Lord Shiva set one shivalingam on the ground which got attached to the ground. According to legends Lord Shiva was worshipped by Parasuram also. The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is locally known as Thekkan Kashi or Dakshina Kasi which means Southern Varanasi.
Darshan Timing:At Morning: 3.30am to 11.30am and At Evening: 5.00pm to 8.00pm
There is an interesting story behind the Vaikom Ashtami Festival.Vaikathashtami is celebrated on the day of Krishna Ashtami.Before many year ago there was saint man who prayed to god siva for year. after many year god shiva and his wife parvathy devi appeared in front of him. It is believed that god Siva appeared in front of him on the day of Krishna Ashtami. Vaikom Shiva Temple is considered as one of the largest and the oldest among all kerala temples. Vaikom Mahadeva Shiva Temple, along with Ettumanoor Shiva Temple and Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful tri-some.It is believed that the Shiva linga placed by Khara by his right hand is worshipped at Vaikom, the one in left hand at Ettumannoor Temple and the one by neck at Kaduthuruthy Temple. It is believed that if the devotees workship all these three temple at same time on the same day before Ucha pooja then all hopes and wishes of the devotees are fulfilled by Shiva.
Festival and Architecture
There are many festival celebrated in temple but Vaikom Ashtami is one of most popular and main festival celebrated in Vaikom Mahadeva Temple .It is conducted at the month of February-March and November to December every year respectively.The exact date can be founded by the Malayalam calender. Arattu is another festival which is also celebrated in temple.Classical music and dance performances including Kathakali performances on the eighth and ninth days are the major attractions.The Architecture style of Mahadeva Temple is just like a Traditional Kerala style of Architecture. The Temple is spreads over eight acres of land with five prakarams and four towers. The huge Nandi is made in a single stone and a small one for Archana. the sanctum of Vaikom Siva Temple is oval in shape ,covered with a copper plated roof and a golden kalasam at its top.It has two chambers. Mukhamandapa (the main hall) is the first chamber which is built in stone shaped with single piece of woods. Garbha Griha is the second chamber which is built completely in stone with the roof in a square shape.The Shiva Linga height is six feet which is made of chaste black stone.The Linga is decorated with Chandrakala.The outer walls of Sreekovil are decorated with wooden sculptures and stories from Puranas.The golden flagstaff height is about 317 feet . There is also a shrine for Snake Gods, where poojas and rituals are offered only once a year.
How to Reach
By Flight: Cochin International Airport is about 76 km from Kottayam.