Vaikom, 40 km form Kottayam is famed for the Siva temple which according to legend was constructed by Lord Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala. The sacred 'Ashtami' festival of the Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom lasts for twelve days. The festival takes place during the dark lunar fortnight of the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (November-December) which concludes on the Ashtami day. The actual 'Ashtami' festivities are on the twelth day. In fact, 'Vaikom Ashtami' is considered so auspicious that it is celebrated throughout Kerala. On the 'Ashtami' night, many of the deities of nearby temples are ceremoniously brought in a procession to Vaikom temple. Among them, the pride of place goes to Subramanya, Siva's son presiding over the nearby Udayanapuram temple. The father-son meet and departure is a moving experience to the devotees.

Vaikom was believed as a part of a kingdom called 'Venmalanadu' in the past. When Venmalanadu was split into 'Vadakkumkoor' and 'Thekkumkoor', it becomes in the part of Vadakkumkoor dynasty. Vadakkumkoor kingdom spread along the path of Muvattupuzha river towards the north east side from Kaduthuruthy, Vaikom, Piravom , Muvattupuzha,and Thodupuzha. There was an important port at Chemmanakary, near Vaikom during the Vadakkumkoor aera. Later in 1742, it became part of Travancore when the then Maharajah of Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, annexed Vadakkumkoor to his kingdom.In contemporary history Vaikom's prominence derives from the Sathyagraha of 1925, blessed by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at throwing open the temple's doors to Harijans.





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