– Vaikom in Kottayam district of the southern state of India, Kerala, is one of the main pilgrim centres of the south. Famous for the Vaikkath Asthami celebrations in November/December, it is one of the few temples which is held in reverence by both Shaivaites and the Vaishnavaites. Vaikkom’s Shiva is fondly called Vaikkathappan. The Shiva Linga here is believed to be from the ‘Treta yuga’ and considered as one of the oldest temples in Kerala where pooja has not been broken since inception.
Daily Poojas :
– A day in this Holy Temple of Vaikkathappan starts at Saraswathi yama by awakening the greatest Lord and opening the Holy door of Sreekovil. As soon as the door is opened we get Nirmalya Darsana. Afterwards there is Abhisheka or Holy Bath. Then there are three poojas in the morning namely Usha Pooja, Ethirthu Pooja or reception pooja and Panthiradi Pooja. There is Ucha Pooja that is noon pooja and in the night Athazha Pooja or the Pooja of supper is performed daily. There are also three Sribeli viz Ethirthu Sribeli, Ucha Sribeli and Athazha Sribeli. The Abhishekas named Panchagavyam, Navakam and any special Abhishekas that is Holy Baths are ordinarily performed during the Ucha Pooja. After noon Sribeli the Temple is closed till 5 pm. But special Abhishekas and Poojas are performed on certain days like Monday, Thiruvathira, Pradosha, Krishna Paksha Ashtami and Pournami even in the evening. On such special Pooja days and days of Sankarama* the Lord Vaikkathappan is carried in Rushabha Vahana for Athazha Sribeli in the night. Then the Temple remains closed till next day 4 am.