Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

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The ‘Sanctum Sanctorum' of the temple is large and spacious and the Shiva Lingam itself is about two meter high. The annual festival of the temple is Ashtami in the month of Karthige; Ashtami on the 12 th day, and Arattu, the holy water bath for the deity on the 13th day. The Ashtami day is considered as auspicious that it is observed throughout Kerala with special worship to Vaikuntappan. At the temple, each of the days of the Ashtami festival has a special programme, ‘poojas' and rituals, elegant processions, public feeding, music, dancec etc. Thousands of visitors and pilgrims attend each day's function. These celebrations reach the peak on the ashtami day.

From the early hours of this day, devotees crowd the temple for ‘Darshan' as this is considered auspicious. The main event occurs at night when the happy meeting between Vaikuntanathan and His son, Lord Subramanya, the presiding deity of the nearby Udayanapuram, takes place. It is believed that Udayanapuradappan, as the son is called, had gone to a battle with the Rakshasa and the meeting is an occasion for the father to greet the triumphant son.

The coming of Udayanapuradappan accompanied by the Gods and Goddesses of the neighbouring temples, all mounted on gorgeous caparisoned elephants with ‘Nagaswaram' and hundreds of torches (Theevattees), provide a grand sight. Hundreds of thousands of visitors collect to witness the symbolic meeting of the father and the son and make offerings to the deities. It looks as though the Gods converse with each other, meeting as they do, after a ong interval. After going round the temple, the ‘leave taking ceremony' (aarattu) takes place. For this function also, Udayanapuradappan comes to Vaikom and there is a join worship for father and son. After this ceremony, Vaikuntappan also goes to his son's place and has a bath. There are ‘poojas' for the two Gods.

During the recent times, Vaikom became famous for its ‘Satyagraha' movement for temple entry was initiated here. in the beginning, it was given for the right to use the roads leading to the temple. It started as early as in 1924 and lasted for several months. Many prominent political leaders like C.F Andrews, C.Rajagopalachari, Srinivasa Iyengar, hd visited Vaikom Satyagraha Ashram.



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