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Vaikathashtami at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Kerala

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Kerala is one of the oldest and the most famous temples in Kerala both from religious and social perspective. In 2017, the date of Vaikathashtami is December 10. Vaikathashtami or Vaikkath Asthami, celebrated in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (November – December) is one of the most famous Hindu temple festivals in Kerala. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Shivalinga here.

Lord Shiva is popularly known as Vaikkathappan here and he appears in three forms in a day – morning he is Dakshinamoorti, noon he is Kiratamurti and in the evening he is Sambhashivan along with Goddess Parvati. The huge Shivlinga worshipped here, which is five feet in height, is believed to have formed during the Treta Yuga.

Vaikathashtami festival is the day when Lord Shiva and Parvati is believed to have given darshan to Sage Vyakrapada. Ashtami Vilakku (lamps) is a major event during the festival. Another highlight of the day is the arrival of Lord Murga (Subrahmanya) from the nearby Udayanapuram Subrahamanya Temple. The father (Shiva) and son (Muruga) meet in the temple premises and bids farewell after a short meeting. This annual ritual attracts thousands of devotees.

The Vaikathashtami festival lasts for 12 days and the most important day is the Ashtami day.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is located around 30 km south of Kochi and around 40 km north of Kottayam