Friday, November 18, 2011

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

The Vaikom Mahadevar Temple is considered as one of the  oldest and most important Siva temples of Kerala.This temple is known as 'Perum Thrikkovil' and is situated in the heart of Vaikom Municipality of Kottayam District.  'Vaikom Ashtami Festival'  is celebrated all over Kerala along with Vaikom Temple.It is believed that an Asura named 'Khara' installed the the three Shiva Lingas of Vaikom,Ettumanoor, and Kaduthuruthy.It is believed auspicious to visit these three temples before 'Uchapooja' (Pooja ritual in the noon) and also said that our reasonable wishes will be fulfilled.
It is also believed that Lord Parasurama consecrated the Shiva  'Linga' at Vaikkom temple and constructed the temple also.One thing is certain that the Linga of this temple dates back to Thretha Yuga and the Pooja rites to the Deity has not been  broken till today.The Lord Siva, of this temple is lovingly called as Vaikkathappan and he is revered in three forms every day.In the morning he is considered as 'Dakshina Moorthy'  at noon he is considered  in 'Kiratha form' (as a Hunter) and in the evening he is in the form as 'Sachidanantha'.Dakshina Moorthy is the Universal teacher and also responsible for all the arts and artistic talents.So like Goddess Saraswathi Devi he bless the devotees with good deeds and thoughts and helps them to attain good education and bless them with artistic talents.
Vaikkathappan is known as 'Annadana Prabhu' also.To all the devotees come to the temple before noon is provided a feast from the temple which is known as 'Vaikkathu Prathal'.This feast is made in the temple itself and known for its super taste.This 'annadanam' is held in this temple for centuries without fail.
The deity of Vaikkathappan is also known as 'Viswanathan'  means the owner of this whole universe.The annual temple festival is for 12 days in the  dark lunar cycle of 'Vrichikam' month (November-December).

This day is celebrated with awful galore and  exultation.The Vaikom town will be beautifully decorated and there will be a flow of thousands of people from far and near to participate in the temple functions today to get the grace of Lord Siva.
After dusk the Deity will be taken on an elephant to the 'Aanakkottil' with music,temple torches,color,pageantry etc and after some time Deities of 8 temples  in nearby areas are brought on different elephants in separate processions there.The arrival of all these processions  in a colorful manner with Panchavadyam,Chendamelam,colored umbrellas  and temple torches etc including Theyyam,Nilakkavadi,Karakattam,mayilattam,dance etc converts all the roads leading to the temple with joyous scenario  which are all stupendous that  fills the hearts of devotees with devotion and happiness.When all the 8 deities arrives there is a ritual known as 'Kanikkiduka' which is offerings made  to the Lord which is a unique system seen only at Vaikkom temple.The 'Vrishapha Vahana' Ezhunnellippu (Procession with the Idol of  Nandi-The Bull) is also a special ritual during the festival period.
The Subramanya Swamy temple situated at 'Udayanapuram' 3km from Vaikkom temple  has several attachments to Vaikom temple.'Udayanapurathappan' (Subramanya) is considered as Lord Siva's son and he will be also brought in procession to Vaikom temple for the festival function and will be greeted in a grand manner.There is another ritual known as 'Koodipooja' in Vaikkom temple with Udayanapuram Subramanya Swamy.
Vaikkathu Ashtami is celebrated in all Siva temples of Kerala along with Vaikom Temple.It is believed that
'Vyagrapaada Rishi' who was a firm devotee of 'Vaikkathappan' got 'Darshan' of Lord Siva on the Ashtami day and it is celebrated  as rejoice of this event as well as part of the temple festival.

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