As per the popular legend associated with the establishment of Vaikom Temple, Kharasura offers prayers to Lord Shiva at Chidambaram. Impressed by his devotion, Lord Shiva presents three holy Shiva Lingams to Kharasura. Assuring him to be present in these Lingams, Shiva suggests Kharasur to worship them to get Moksha (salvation). He moves towards south from Himalayas holding two of the Lingams in each hand and the third one in mouth. He feels tired and stops at Vaikom. Keeping the Shiva lingam on the ground, he rests for a while. After resting, he realizes that it has been affixed at that place. Therefore, he installs the other two Lingams too, one each at Ettumanoor and Kaduthuruthy.A heavenly voice says ‘I should remain here to offer Moksha to devotees, who require it’. He understands that it is Shiva’s Maya. After getting Moksha, he hands over the supervision of holy Lingams to Maharshi Vyaghrapada and tells him to protect and worship them.
Another beautiful temple to visit is the Mahadeva Temple at Kazhakuttam. The temple was built in the 14th century and is known for the exquisitely carved temple sculptures and detailed carvings. Another temple that should not be missed is the Mitramandapuram Temple, situated on the outskirts of the city limits.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is one of the most admired Shiva temples in South India. Located at Vaikom Taluk in Kottayam district of Kerala, the Shiva Lingam installed in this temple is supposed to be dating back to ‘Treta Yuga’. Earlier known as Vyaghrapadapuram, the name of place has been converted into Vaikom. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva.
The temple makes an influential trio with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple. It is said that visiting all the three temples in a day makes the wishes come true. The priests at the temple come from Kadathanadu in Vadakara Taluk of Kozhikode District and other works are done by Moosad of the East and West families. At the south side of the temple yard, the idol of Panachikkal Bhagavathi is kept to worship. The Sarppa Sanidhya, the God of Snakes, is also worshipped within the temple. Travancore Devaswom Board takes care of the appointments of rest of the employees of Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple.