Lord Shiva

Temple History

The Vaikom Mahadevar temple is one of the most celebrated Shiva temples in South India. This is one of the few temples in Kerala, which is held in reverence by both vaishnavites as well as shaivaites. The Lord Shiva in Vaikom temple is fondly called as “Vaikkathappan”. The temple alongwith Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful trisome. The belief is that if a devotee worships at these three temples before 'Ucha pooja', all the wishes are fulfilled. The Deity Shiva at Vaikom Mahadevar manifests himself as Dakshinamurthy in the panthirathi pooja in the morning. He is worshiped as Kiraata Murthy during the Uchcha pooja at noon and as Satchitananda in the evening.

Kharasura on receiving the Shaiva Vidya Upadesh from Malyavan went to Chidambaram, and did severe penance and Tapasya for the attainment of Moksha. Pleased with his penance Lord Siva granted all the boons he asked, and presented him with three great Siva Lingas drawn out of Him. Assuring that He will ever be present in them, Lord Siva disappeared, asking Khara to worship the Lingas to attain Moksha. When Khara was returning south from Himalayas with the three Lingas, one in his right hand, one in left hand and other by the neck, he felt tired and rested awhile. After rest when he tried to pick up the lingas, they wouldn’t budge. He realized that it was Shiva’s maya and when called unto, the heavens spoke thus, “I shall remain here giving Moksha to whom so ever * take refuge in Me”. Khara having attained Moksha entrusted the holy Lingas to the custody of Maharshi Vyaghrapada who had followed him invisibly and asked the sage to protect and worship them.

Belief is that the Siva Linga placed by Khara Asura by his right hand is being worshipped at Vaikom, the one in left hand at Ettumannoor and the one by neck at Kaduthuruthy even to this day.

The Linga carried by Khara with his neck is believed to be at Kadathuruthy and the one by his left hand is at Ettumanoor. The fact that the distance from Vaikom to Kadathuruthy and from there to Ettumanoor is more or less the same, gives credence to this legend. So the Darsana of all these three Lingas on a same day is considered as good as the Siva Darsana at Kailas – the Abode of the Lord.

On a *Vritchika - Krishna paksha – Ashtami dahy (According to Malayalam Era), the Lord of Lords and God of Gods - Siva the Paremeswara appeared to the Maharshi with his consort Parvati - the Jagat Janani. The Lord proclaimed, “This place shall be known as Vyaghrapadapurma”, and disappeared. The world famous Vaikkathashtami and all connected holy festivals are observed here even to this day on the same Vrichika – Krishna*- Ashtami.

Vyaghrapada Maharshi continued the Pooja in most esteem and devotion for some time and went on pilgrimage.Months and years passed. Sri Parasurama – the Chiramjeevi was going by the sky one day. Seeing good omens alighted here and saw a Holy Siva Linga emerged in water emitting heavenly rays. He could understand that it was the Siva Linga placed by Khara.
Sri Parasurama thought himself that, the holiest and noblest Siva Chaitanya could be a great refuge for the devoted who wish to attain Moksha. He consecrated the auspicious Linga here with His earnest Prayers and recitation of Siva Manthras.

The most benign Lord Siva at once appeared with his consort Parvati Devi before Parasurama. He was so pleased that the Linga was consecrated with the Manthras by Parasurama – the incarnation of Vishnu, his greatest devotee. The kind Lord Siva said to Parasurama, “From now onwards I shall stay here as Shaiva-Vaishnava Chaithanya granting all blisses and Moksha to all devotees”.

Full of joy and gratitude Parasurama performed Siva Linga pooja there for some days. Then he himself built a temple here and entrusted a noble Brahmin of Taruna village whom he taught Pooja Manthras. The Brahmin had learned all the 28 Sivagama and wore rudraksha and bhasma. Parasurama donated the whole temple with Linga to Brahmins and disappeared.It is the belief that the temple and all rites and customs are planned and fixed by Parasurama himself.


Additional Information

Best hotels and lodges are available in Vaikom city for the accommodation of devotees.

Vaikkathashtami is the famous festival of this temple. This festival is held in the month of November and December which is participated by the large number of devotees. Each day witnesses special rituals, elephant processions, music and dance performances etc. The Ashtami festival involves a special darshan in the wee hours of the morning under the peepul tree, a feast at noon and a procession at night from the nearby Udayanapuram Subramanya temple. This procession involves the meeting of Shiva and Subramanya in celebration of Subramanya's victory over the demons.

Vaikom is located at a distance of 33km south of Ernakulam and 40 km north of Kottayam on the railroad between Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram. Buses ply from various cities of Kerala to Ernakulam and Kottayam. KSRTC Bus Station is just 1 km from the temple.

Kottayam Railway station is 31.3 km and Ernakulam Junction South is 32.3 km from the temple. Buses and private transport is available from both the cities to reach the temple.

Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport which is 56.1 km only.
  • Morning 3:30 AM to Evening 8:00 PM
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: (+91) 04829 215 812