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Vaikom Mahadeva temple- the oldest pilgrimage in South India
The Vaikom temple is located in Kumarakom in Kerala and is famous for its architectural brilliance and religious importance. Vaikom became popular when the Satyagraha was held during the freedom movement in India. The place attracts lots of visitors on the occasion of Vaikom Asthami which is celebrated on the month of November every year. The Malayalam calendar determines the actual date of the festival. It is one of the most significant temples in the city with a huge arch of land that extends its courtyard. This famous temple of Lord Shiva attracts huge number of devotees from different parts of the country. The Shiva of Vaikom Mahadeva temple is known to all as ‘Vaikkathappan’. This Shiv linga is considered as he oldest one in the state that has been worshipped since the very ancient period.
How to reach the temple
If you are planning to arrive here by air then Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport from the spot. And if railway is your selection then the nearest railway station is Vaikom road Railway station and Kottayam is also nearby at a distance of 25 kms. You can also reach the temple by roadways. The location is at a distance of 33 km s from Ernakulam. Bus service is available on a regular basis from Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam. The Vaikom bus stoppage stands on the highway of Ettumanoor to Ernaklam.
Best hotels to stay nearby
Coconut lagoon, Shri Kailash tourist home, Whitegate Residency, Kottaram and Aveda Kumarakom are some of the best hotels located very close to the Vaikom temple. They provide a comfortable stay that sets within your budget with all the basic amenities.
Traditional significance of the temple
- The State of Kerala houses three best Shiva temples, one is this Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, and the other two is Ettumanoor Shiva Temple and Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Shiva Temple.
- The native people believe that if one worships all these three shrines then the Lord fulfils their wishes.
- A golden coloured flag is stuffed at the temple. There is stone structure near Balikalulpura which images Lord Ganesha.
- At the eastern side of the temple there is a pond which gives feelings equal to bathing in Ganges. The pond has a great historical significance and is known as Arathihara Teertha.
The Myth of the Vaikom Mahadeva temple
- There is a myth of the temple that states, once saint Vyaghrapada meditated chanting Lord Shiva’s name and pleased with the saint the Lord and Goddess Parvati appeared before him on the day of Kishna Astami. That is why this day is celebrated on one of the greatest festival of the temple.
- There is another myth that comes to hear there was a demon named Kharasura who made lord Shiva happy by worshipping him and thereby got three shiv lingas as a boon. On his way to South India he got tired and kept the lingas on the ground. After a while when he tried to lift it up, he became unsuccessful. And then the sky said that the lingas would help everybody attain liberation. So after attaining mokshya , Kharasura asked saint Vyaghrapada to take responsibilities of it. Thereby the above myth followed after that and the three lingas was placed in the three temples as mentioned above.
- Lord Shiva in Vaikom takes three forms at three times of the day and blesses all the devotees with whatever they want, this is the third myth.
- The north side of the temple houses a well that is believed to wash away the sins of suffering people. One of the ancient saints Parasurama came to this temple to worship the Lord and uttered hymns to make him happy. He was moved by the sufferings of common people and requested Lord Shiva to create a holy place that will help people attain sin free life and thus the well was created as a boon from the Lord.
Other Places of interests in Vaikom Mahadeva temple
Other than this Vaikom Mahadeva temple there are other places of interests in Vaikom. These are the fish world, Vamana Swami temple, aqua tourism village and ethnic voyages. After visiting the Vaikom shiva temple if you have time then you may explore these places for a refreshing activity.