July 22, 2010

The most important Shiva temple of Kerala - Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Kerala, India

Kerala state of India is called as the God's own country. The state has a lot naturally beautiful sites, waterfalls, hill stations, and wild life sanctuaries. In addition to all these tourist attractions, Kerala also has a lot of important temples. Guruvayurappan, Bhagavathi, Iyappa, and Shiva are the Gods widely worshipped in Kerala. Guruvayur has a famous temple for Guruvayurappan. Chottanikkara has the most important temple of Bhagavathi, and Iyappa has his prominent temple at Sabarimala. Kerala has many important temples for Lord Shiva too. Among them, the Mahadeva temple at Vaikom can be considered as the most important.

Vaikom is a small town located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Vaikom has a beautiful temple for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva in this temple is called as Vaikathappan. The Vaikathappan temple aka Vaikom Mahadeva temple is believed to be there since 'Treta yuga', and hence it is considered as one of the oldest temples of Kerala state. The temple along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, and Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful tri-some.

Temple Legend:

A demon named Kharasura did penance for the attainment of Moksha. Lord Shiva pleased with his penance, granted all the boons he asked, and also presented him with three Lingas drawn out of him. He ordered the demon to worship Lingas to attain moksha. While returning from Himalayas, the demon who was carrying three Lingas on his left hand, right hand, and the other by neck, felt tired. He placed the Lingas in three places and thereafter he couldn't lift them. The Linga placed by Khara's right hand is at Vaikom, the one in left hand is at Ettumannoor, and the one placed by neck is at Kaduthuruthy. This is the main legend of this temple. However, there are few other legends too.

Temple Structure:

The Vaikathappan temple of Voikom is one of the biggest temples of Kerala which is spread for 8 acres of land. The East facing temple has four towers on four sides. The place where it is believed that Shiva and Parvathi gave darshan to Vyagrapatha Maharishi is called as Vyagrapatha Sthanam. A big Nandi idol is situated near the golden flag staff. The main deity Vaikathappan is in Linga form. The idol is too high (around six feet) and made up of black stone. The gigantic image of Linga is adorned with Chandrakala (crescent), three eyes, nose and four hands with Saiva abharanams(ornaments) in pure gold.

The temple also houses other shrines such as Panachikkal Bhagavathi, Sthambha Vinayaka, and Sarpa (snake god).

If you go to pilgrimage to Kerala, you should not miss visiting Vaikom temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts

Site Name: Vaikathappan Temple
Site Type: Temple
City Name: Vaikom
Location: 33 kms from Ernakulam, Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Ernakulam/Cochin or from Kottayam
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Cochin/Ernakulam as well as in Kottayam
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Cochin/Ernakulam and Kottayam

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1 comment:

  1. Yes! you are right...same with Pune city..in Pune there is lord Ganesh's important.