According to a legend, the Shiva temple at Vaikom was consecrated by Parasurama who is the sixth avatar of Mahavishnu. The Shiva lingam was originally installed by an Asura named Khara at Vaikom along with Ettumanoor and Kaduthuruthy. These three Shiva temples are at equal distance from each other. Khara was carrying two Shiva lingams in both hands and the third one in his mouth at the time of installation of these three Shiva lingams. It is customary to worship all these three temples on the same day.

Shiva Lingam at this temple is a huge one standing tall at 5 feet. The Sanctum is circular in shape with copper plated roof with a golden kalasam. He is worshipped as Dakhshinamoorthy in the morning, as Kirata (hunter) at noon as he appeared before Arjuna as hunter, and as Sachindananda in the evening.  Sahasra kalasabhisheka is a popular way of worshipping the god in this temple in which 1008 pots of water is poured on the lingam. Vaikathappan is known as Abhisheka priya. As Vyagrapada worshipped the Lingam at Vaikom, it was earlier known as Vyagrapadapuram.  Sage Parasurama is said to have established the puja rites for this temple.

Vaikkathu Ashtami

Vaikom Shiva temple is famous for its festival called Vaikathu Ashtami which falls on the Ashtami thithi in the Malayalam month of Vrichikam (Karthigai). During these 13 festival days, sumptuous feast is offered to all devotees who visit the temple. Koodi puja is performed on the next day to mark the meeting of Lord Subramanya of Udayanapuram (3 km from Vaikom) and Sri Vaikathappan. It is believed that the food which is served on Vaikkathu Ashtami day at the temple has got medicinal values and all devotees both rich and poor participate in the feast. Devotees are also provided food all round the year and the Lord is known as Annadhana Prabhu.  Vaikathu Ashtami is celebrated all over Kerala with a feast on that day.

Vaikom Struggle

Vaikom is also famous for Vaikom struggle organized by social reformers in 1924 to allow entry of lower caste Hindus on the roads leading to the temple.  At the end of the struggle which continued for several months, all persons irrespective of their castes were allowed to enter the temple roads. This struggle further led to temple entry proclamation in 1936 by the Travancore Maharaja Chitrai Thirunal, by which he allowed all Hindus to enter the temples in his Kingdom.


OmTamil at 13 Aug 2012

Siva Lingam – Meaning & Definition. Full explanation:

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