Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kottayam district of Kerala.
This temple stands as a testimony to centuries of cultural and spiritual heritage. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism.
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple holds immense significance not only for its religious importance but also for its architectural splendor and historical prominence.
The temple, along with the Ettumanoor Shiva Temple and the Kaduthuruthy Shiva Temple is considered a powerful place of Shiva
History of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
The temple’s origins are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been built in the 10th century by the Chera kings. The temple has undergone several renovations over the centuries, but it retains its original architectural style, which is a blend of Keralan and Dravidian styles.
The temple complex is spread over an area of 13 acres and is surrounded by a moat. The main entrance to the temple is through the eastern gopuram, which is a towering gateway decorated with intricate carvings. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses a black granite lingam, which is the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over Kerala. The temple is also a significant cultural center and hosts several festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
The Vaikom Satyagraha
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple played a pivotal role in the Vaikom Satyagraha, a social reform movement that took place in Kerala in the early 20th century. The movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi and other social reformers who fought against the practice of caste discrimination.
At the time, the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple was open only to Brahmins. The Satyagraha movement demanded that the temple be opened to all Hindus, regardless of their caste. The movement was successful in achieving its goal, and the temple was opened to all Hindus in 1924.
The Vaikom Satyagraha is considered to be a landmark event in the history of social reform in India. It helped to pave the way for the eventual abolition of caste discrimination in India.
- Address: Vaikom, Kerala 686141
- District: Kottayam
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Deity: Shiva
- Entry Fee: Free
- Timings: 4:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Dress Code: The Vaikom Mahadeva temple has a dress code according to which men should wear only dhoti and Angavastram (no shirt allowed), and women devotees should wear a sari, salwar kameez, pavadai sattai, or churidar
- Festivals: Vaikom Ashtami, Maha Shivaratri
- Best Time to Visit: October to April
Architecture of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a remarkable architectural marvel, standing as a testament to the craftsmanship and devotion of its builders.
Its design reflects the unique blend of Keralan and Dravidian architectural styles, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region.
While the primary architectural style is Kerala, there are Dravidian influences evident in certain elements. The layout of the temple, the tiered structure, and the presence of a pillared hall or mandapa are reminiscent of Dravidian temple architecture.
The focal point of the temple is the Sreekovil, the sanctum sanctorum, which houses the main deity, Lord Shiva.
The Sreekovil is constructed following the typical Kerala architectural style, characterized by a pyramidal roof made of copper sheets. The roof is adorned with artistic finials and kalashas, adding a touch of elegance.
Wood plays a crucial role in the temple’s architecture. The intricate wood carvings on the walls and pillars showcase the mastery of traditional craftsmen.
The outer walls of the Sreekovil and other structures within the temple complex feature detailed woodwork, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, floral patterns, and other artistic motifs.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple does not have a towering entrance gopuram like some other South Indian temples. Instead, it follows the Kerala style, with a modest entrance that leads to the main sanctum.
The temple is adorned with vibrant mural paintings that narrate episodes from Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
These murals, executed in the traditional Kerala mural style, add a colorful and spiritual dimension to the temple’s architecture.
How to Reach Vaikom Mahadeva Temple?
The closest airport is Cochin International Airport. It is about 76 km from the Kottayam district.
The Vaikom Road Railway Station is the nearest rail line. The Kottayam is also not far. It is only 25 km from the temple.
The Vaikom Mahadeva temple is only 33 km from Ernakulam. Also, Kottayam is only 40 km from the temple.
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