Wednesday, April 1, 2015




Venue: Vaikom Mahadeva temple
Location: Vaikom
District: Kottayam.

Welcome to one of the most revered of Shiva shrines in south India – the Vaikom Mahadeva temple. Immensely rich in tradition and legacy this temple is considered as one of the oldest in Kerala. The grandeur and splendour of this temple are magnificently articulated during Vaikathashtami – the twelve-day annual festival of the temple.

Elegantly situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake at Vaikom (Vaikkom), this traditionally styled temple has a courtyard of about eight acres. Abounding in an unbroken tradition of worship, the Shiva Linga here is believed to be very ancient. The temple is noted for its age-old rituals and the Vaikathashtami festival here has many cultural programs like Kathakali performances, music concerts, pageantry and the like. The grand procession in which thethidambu (replica of the presiding deity) would be carried on elephant back, joined by processions from nearby temples is a spectacle to behold.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 40 km
Nearest airport: Cochin international Airport, about 56 km


In Kerala, festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. We have calculated the festival dates based on these. But there can be changes in the dates according the customs and rituals associated with each place of worship. As such, these should be considered only as approximate dates and have to be confirmed with the local authorities.

Vaikathashtami, observed in the Malayalam month Vrishchikam on the eight day after full moon day, is one of the most popular temple festivals in Kerala. Vaikathashtami 2014 date is December 14. The festival is held at the famous Vaikom Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom near Kottayam in Kerala. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a Shivling, which is believed to have been formed during the Tretayuga.

The Vaikathashtami festival lasts for 12 days and the most important day is the Ashtami day. Ashtami is the eighth day after full moon and no moon as per traditional Hindu calendar.

The festival attracts thousands of people and one of the major highlights during the festival is the Ashtami Vilakku or lamps. Another major ritual during the festival is the arrival of Lord Murga (Subrahmanya) from the nearby Udayanapuram Subrahamanya Templeto pay respects to his father Lord Shiva at the Vaikom Temple.