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Vaikom - Shiva Temple

Lord Shiva Lord Shiva temple, Vaikom, Kottyam district, KeralaMeditation: I meditate on Lord Shiva of Vaikom.

Vaikom: Vaikom has a famous temple of Lord Shiva. The place is associated with the legend of demon Khara.

Legend of Khara: According to a legend, Khara (the asura of Ramayana) performed intense penance and propitiated Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. The Lord granted him boons along with three Shiva Lingas. Khara held two Lingas in his hands and third in his mouth, and went southwards journeying in the sky. On the way, he descended to take some rest in a place. There he put the Linga on his right hand on a sacred spot. The Linga got fixed on the ground and Khara could not remoce it. At this juncture, sage Vyaghrapada appeared there. Khara entrusted the Linga to the care of the sage and proceeded further. This is the famous Shiva Linga of Vaikom. Khara installed the Linga on his left hand at Ettumanoor (or Ettumanur), 25 km away. Khara set the Linga on his mouth at Kaduthuruthy, midway between the two places.

Sage Vyaghrapada: Sage Vyaghrapada worshipped this Shiva Linga with great devotion. So the place is also called Vyaghrapuri which later become Vaikom. It is said that, pleased with the devotion of sage Vyaghrapada, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati gave darshan to the sage under a Peepal tree in the early hours of Ashtami of the month of Vrischikam (Nov - Dec). This location is preserved with a raised platform where pujas are offered.

About the Temple: Vaikom is the place where Lord Shiva abides in His benign form. The Shiva Linga here is decorated with flower garlands and various ornaments which includes trinetra (three eyes of Shiva) and the crescent moon. Feeding of devotees on special ocassions is one of the characteristic feature of the Vaikom temple. The temple prasad is said to have curative powers.

Festival: The most important festival of the temple is the Ashtami in the month of Vrischikam (Nov - Dec). On this day sage Vyaghrapada had darshan of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. This annual festival is celebrated for 13 days with Ashtami on the 12th day.

• Vaikom is located in the Kottyam district of Kerala.

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Last updated on Nov-2023

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