A famous abode of Lord Shiva in Kerala.
Legend is that a demon called Khara (brother of Ravana of the Hindu epic Ramayana) was flying to his native place Sri Lanka with three Shiva Lingas. He got these Lingas from Lord Shiva himself, after severe penance. He carried one Linga on his right hand, one on left hand and the other by lip.
While flying, it accidentally fallen on three places in earth and got rooted there. The Linga on his right hand fell at Vaikom, of left hand at Ettumanoor, and on his lip at the place called Kaduthuruthy. All these three places have well-known Shiva temples and having darshan at all the three in a single day is considered holy.
Another legend tells us that Lord Shiva gave darshan to a rishi called Vyagrapaathar at Vaikom. There is a memorial to this Sage in front of the temple. Earlier, this place is said to have known as Vyagrapadapuram.
The temple complex is huge by the Kerala standard which spans into eight acres. It is a specimen to the Kerala Hindu temple architecture.
At this temple Lord Shiva is worshiped as Dakshina Moorthy during the morning pooja, as Kirata moorthy in the afternoon pooja and as Sachidantha Moorthy during the evening pooja.
The temple becomes busy during the Mandala festival of Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. This temple is a must visit to the Ayyappa devotees and they use it as their camping place en route to Sabarimala.
The temple is about 45 kilometers from Kottayam and 30 kilometers from Ernakulam.