The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a temple for Lord Shiva in Vaikom, Kerala.The temple, along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple are considered as three very sacred and powerful temples.
As per the legends an asuran called Khara, a great devotee of Lord Shiva, on receiving the Saiva Vidya Upadesam from Malyavan (great grand father of Ravana), went to Chidambaram and did severe penance for the attainment of moksha. Pleased with his penance Lord Shiva not only granted all the boons he asked for and also and presented him with three great Shiva Lingas. When Khara was returning south from Kailash with the three Lingas carryinng them one in his right hand, one in left hand and other over neck, he felt tired and placed the lingas to rest for awhile. When he tried to pick up the lingas, they wouldn’t move. Khara having attained Moksha then entrusted the Lingas to Maharshi Vyaghrapada who was following him and asked the sage to protect and worship them.
It is beleived that the Shiva Linga placed by Khara Asura by his right hand is the one at Vaikom, the one that was in his left hand at Ettumannoor and the one by neck at Kaduthuruthy even today. Getting a darshan of all these three Lingas on a same day is considered as good as the Shiva darshan at Kailash.
Sri Parasurama while travelling through the place and feeling some positive vibrations, noticed a Siva Linga emerging from water, emitting radiance. He realised that it was the Siva Linga placed by Khara. He consecrated the Linga here with recitations of Siva Manthras.
Lord Siva at once appeared with Parvati Devi before Parasurama. He was pleased that the Linga was consecrated with the Manthras by Parasurama, who is an avatar of Maha Vishnu.
Ecstatic Parasurama performed Siva Linga pooja there for some days, then he built a temple here and entrusted to a noble Brahmin of Taruna village to whom he taught the mantras.It is beleived that the temple and all rites and customs are from Parasurama himself.
The Temple : The temple is situated in a sprawling pace of eight acres and one of the bigger temples in Kerala.The golden dwajasthambam(flag staff) is very huge and beutiful.The story of Ramayana is sculptured on the inner roof. A huge Nandi made of a single stone and a small one for which Archanas are performed during Pradosham are in the east side of this Mandapam. The main sannidhi is oval in shape with copper sheets and with two chambers. Inside the karpa griha is Shree Vaikkathappan in a lingam form about 6 feet in height and is adorned with crescent Chandran, three eyes, nose and four hands with ornaments in pure gold.
There are sannidhis for Sthambha Vinayaka and Sarppa Sanidhya (Nagaraja or Serpent God) in the praharam.
Temple Festivals :
The Vaikom Ashtami (Vaikathashtami), one of its main festivals, which is held in November–December. Vaikathashtami is celebrated on the day of Krishna Ashtami extending for 12 days. 12th day is Vaikathashtami.Shivrathri is another important festival of this temple.
Elephant pageants, traditional art performances are other main attractions in this temple. On the final day of Vaikathashtami, the deities of the neighboring temples are ceremoniously brought to Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. ‘Prathal’ (annadhanam) of Vaikom Shiva Temple is very popular and is offered to the devotees after the daily noon pooja.
Temple location The temple is at Vaikom town easily accessible by autos and cab from any point of the town.
Temple Timings The temple is open from 4:00 AM till 11:30 am and from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm
Dress code Stringent dress code exists for entering the temple as in most of the Kerala temples. Men can only wear Veshti without shirts. Women can wear Saris, skirts & Salwar Kameez.
How to reach?
The nearest airport is Cochin and Ernakulam Junction and Town station are the nearest major railway stations, about 35 Km from the town. Can also be reached by getting down at Vaikom Road or Tripunithura Railway Stations. Vaikom is well connected with all major cities in India by road. KSRTC runs direct bus services to all major destinations within and outside Kerala.