|Architectural style:||Traditional Kerala style|
|Major festivals||Vaikom Ashtami|
|Address:||Vazhamana Rd, Vaikom, Kerala 686141|
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a temple for the Hindu god Shiva in Vaikom, Kerala. The temple, along with 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 Vaikom Mahadeva temple is one of the few temples which is held in reverence by both Shaivaites and the Vaishnavaites. Vaikom’s Shiva is fondly called Vaikkathappan. The Shiva Linga here is believed to be from the ‘Treta yuga’ and considered as one of the oldest temples in Kerala where pooja has not been broken since inception.
One of the biggest temples in Kerala, the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple has a courtyard of about eight acres of land. The premises levelled with river sand is protected by compound walls with four Gopuras or towers on all the four sides. The Sreekovil is round in shape roofed with copper sheets and with two chambers. The Mukha Mandapa – the first chamber is built in shaped stone and single piece woods. The walls and pillars are very strong. The Garbha Griha(Sanctum Santorium) – the second chamber is built completely in stone including the roof in a square shape.It is a very curious and peculiar fact that we are unable to obtain the Darsana of the Supreme Saiva Chaitanya from this Sreekovil without passing through a ‘six steps’ either from the Gopura or the Nada. It may be reminding us the Shad (six) vikaras(emotions) such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Madha and Mathsarya or the thantrik chakras as per the thanthrik Kalpana.
Legend / Local stories
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
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