Written by

Situated amidst the verdant landscapes of Kerala’s Kottayam district lies the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, a highly recognised Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands out for its spiritual and historical significance and is visited by thousands of devotees annually. If you are planning your next trip to Kerala, don’t forget to add the Vaikom Mahadeva temple to your itinerary. Be it the grandeur or the spiritual sanctity, the temple attracts devotees and history buffs alike. Let’s take a closer look at everything related to the Vaikom Mahadev temple, its history, basic essential insights, and why visiting this temple will be the highlight of your Kerala trip.

History And Mythology Of The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Entrance of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Image Credit: Ms Sarah Welch for Wikimedia Commons

The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple’s origins remain shrouded in the mists of time. Legends attribute its establishment to the Treta Yuga, the second of Hinduism’s four ages. Believers have regarded the temple’s Shiva Linga as one of the oldest in Kerala, where continuous worship has been observed since its inception.In Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu visits the temple in his Mohini avatar, earning it the reverence of both Shaivas (followers of Shiva) and Vaishnavas (followers of Vishnu). This unique confluence of devotion sets the temple apart. One of the most astounding facts about the temple is its historical significance. It is believed that the temple played a significant role in India’s freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi, a champion for social justice, visited Vaikom in 1924 to support the ‘Vaikom Satyagraha,’ a nonviolent protest against untouchability practised within the temple premises. It helped to dismantle caste discrimination in the day.

Must Read: Kochi To Trivandrum Road Trip

Best Time To Visit The Temple

A glorious view of temple from inside

Image Credit: Adityamadhav83 for Wikimedia Commons

Since the temple is open throughout the year, you can visit the Sree Vaikom Mahadeva temple anytime. If you don’t want to wait in long queues during summer, switch to visiting between October and March. The weather is pleasant and slightly on the cooler end. If you want to witness the place’s grandeur in its full glory, especially during special festivals, plan to visit the Vaikathashtami festival. This ten-day celebration culminates in a spectacular procession with decorated elephants. However, the crowds can be overwhelming.

For a less crowded experience, visit between February and March. Since these are “non-festival” months, the weather is pleasant and calm, and the crowds are small. You can also explore the history of the Vaikom Mahadeva temple by roaming around the temple. The months between August and September celebrate the festival of Onam, which also happens to be a popular festival in Kerala. The temple is spruced up during this time, and the festivities are quite pleasant.

Essential Information For Visitors

Vaikom temple in its centuries-old architecture

Image Credit: Alberto Buscató Vázquez for Wikimedia Commons

When you plan your visit to the Vaikom Mahadeva temple the next time you visit Kerala, you must have a better plan and itinerary. You do not want to explore the place half-heartedly, and you will miss out on the beautiful experiences the temple offers. Hence, being aware of basic information like the Vaikom Mahadeva temple timings, entrance fee, etc. is handy.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Timings

Like most other Hindu temples around Kerala, the Vaikom Mahadeva temple opens at 04:30 AM and closes at 05:00 PM. It closes at 11:30 AM and closes again at 08:30 PM. So, the operational timings of the temples are 4:30–11:30 AM and 5:00 –8:00 PM, with a long break in between.


There is no entrance fee for the standard darshan of the deity. You don’t have to pay anything besides your time. Since the queues are long, you’d have to reach the temple early and stand in the queue to wait your turn. There are no special darshan tickets available. However, special avishekhas are available for which you’d have to pay an additional fee.

Dress code

As with most Hindu temples, modest clothing is recommended. Men are expected to remove shirts and upper garments before entering the sanctum sanctorum, and women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. The official website mentions strict guidelines regarding what you should and should not wear. Ensure that you follow the same guidelines.

Etiquette And Rules

Besides the information mentioned, there’s nothing much to explore regarding the temple’s rules and regulations. Avoid clicking photographs in areas of the temple where it is prohibited, which includes the inner sanctum. Also, follow the temple’s customs and instructions provided by the temple authorities.

Suggested Read: Kochi To Bangalore Road Trip

Highlights Of The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Stunning architecture of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Image Credit: Vinayaraj for Wikimedia Commons

Besides the charged spiritual significance, the temple also holds a lot of highlights and experiences you can’t miss out on. These include:

  • The Shiva Linga, believed to be from the Treta Yuga, is the focal point of the temple and attracts devotees from far and wide.
  • Visit the Vaikathashtami festival, where the elephants are decorated and offer a visual and spiritual feast.
  • The temple’s unique architecture, with its oval-shaped sanctum sanctorum and extensive use of wood, mesmerises visitors.
  • The Vaikom Satyagraha movement adds a layer of historical significance to the temple, adding to its historical significance.

Places To Visit Around Sree Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Once you have offered your worship and exploration of the Sree Vaikom Mahadeva temple, take time to step out and indulge in the other tourist attractions outside the temple. Following are a few of them:

1. Vaikom Lake And Beach

A gorgeous view of Vaikom lake

Image Credit: Hari vaikom for Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy a tranquil stroll along the scenic Vaikom Lake or relax on the shores of Vaikom Beach, offering a serene change of pace. It is located a kilometre away from the temple, so it’s within walking distance. The street food vendors provide a taste of the local cuisine, which you can try. It is the the perfect place for a family day out to collect amazing memories. On your next trip to Kerala, don’t forget to add this gem to your itinerary.

Suggested Read: Guruvayurappan Temple

2. Chottanikkara Temple

An inside view of the Chottanikkara Temple inside the premises

Image Credit: Vinayaraj for Wikimedia Commons

Dedicated to Bhagavathy, the mother goddess, the Chottanikkara Temple is known for its healing powers. Witness vibrant rituals and experience the unique cultural tapestry of the region. The temple is roughly 25 km from the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, so you can take your car and drive down to offer your prayers. If you are looking for a blissful place in the heart of Kerala then this gem is the perfect escape for you.

3. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

A view of the lake inside the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Image Credit: Ganesh Mohan T for Wikimedia Commons

If you are a bird lover, you will not regret visiting the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which is 15 km away from the temple. Glide through the serene backwaters on a houseboat and witness the spectacle of nature besides viewing the different species of birds. For birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, this place serves as a paradise.

Suggested Read: Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple

How to Reach Vaikom Mahadeva Temple?

Vaikom Mahadev Temple being decked up before a festival

Image Credit: Sivavkm for Wikimedia Commons

Let’s talk about how to reach Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Vaikom. The temple has a convenient location and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation:

By Air: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport (Cochin), approximately 60 kilometres from Vaikom. Taxis and prepaid cabs are readily available for onward travel to the temple.

By Train: Vaikom Railway Station connects major cities in Kerala and beyond. Local transportation options, such as rickshaws and taxis, can reach the temple from the station.

By Road: Vaikom is well-connected by road, as it is on the National Highway (NH) 85. State buses and private taxis provide convenient options for reaching the temple from various parts of Kerala.

Further Read: Tourist Places In Trivandrum

The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple transcends the realm of a religious structure. It embodies Kerala’s rich cultural tapestry, historical significance, and spiritual essence. A visit to this revered temple promises an enriching experience, leaving an indelible mark on pilgrims and explorers alike. Plan an entire day in your itinerary for the next trip to Kerala.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Source: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions About Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Are there any special pujas offered at the temple?

The temple priests conduct a variety of pujas, which you can witness when you visit the temple. If you want to offer special pujas, you can ask the authorities in advance.

Is the temple open year-round?

Yes, the temple is open throughout the year. You can plan to visit it at your convenience.

Why is Vaikom Temple famous?

In addition to its history as a Mahadeva temple, the Vaikom temple is famous for its annual 10-day Vaikathashtami festival.

What type of architecture of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple?

The temple boasts intricate Kerala-style architecture, adding to its beauty.

Is it ideal to visit Vaikom during monsoon?

The beauty of the surroundings escalates during the monsoon months, but if you have no problem with general problems like slippery roads and blockages, then you can plan your visit during the monsoon.

People Also Read:

Category: Kerala, Places To Visit

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month