Vaikom is a well known beautiful town in Kottayam district of Kerala state in South India. It lies on the banks of Vembanadu backwaters. Vaikom is one of the oldest municipalities in Kerala and it is also the headquarters of Vaikom Taluk.
The glory of Vaikom is mostly dependent on the famous Vaikom temple which is known as “Thekkan Kaasi”(Kaasi of South). Lord Shiva is the deity of this very large temple. The temple festival, known as “Vaikathashtami” is celebrated for 12 days in the month of November-December. Hundreds and thousands of devotees, pilgrims and tourists visit the temple every year.
Vaikom has great historical importance.The foundation stone for communal harmony in the state was laid as a result of two incidents known as “Vaikom Satyagraha” and “Temple entry Proclamation”. Vaikom Satyagraha(1924-25) was a movement in the erstwhile Travancore(now part of Kerala State)against untouchability in Hindu society. The Satyagraha resulted in securing freedom of movement for all sections of people through the public roads leading to the Vaikom Temple which was prohibited in the earlier period. Great spiritual, political and public leaders such as Sree Narayana Guru, Mahatma Gandhi, E. V. Ramaswamy, T.K Madhavan, Mannathu Padmanabhan and many others participated in this movement.The Satyagraha also paved the way for the subsequent “Temple Entry Act” and “Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936 permitting all devotees in Hindu religion to enter the temples in the state of Kerala.Memorials of these two events are maintained properly at Vaikom.
Vaikom is one of the best tourist Centres of Kerala. The boating through the Vembanad lake and connecting rivers , the scenic beauty of the coconut lagoons and paddy fields , the love and affection of native people(mainly farmers, fishermen, coir workers)etc. attract tourists to Vaikom and nearby places. Vaikom is on the way from Cochin to Kumarakom. The surrounding water bodies are famous for a large variety of tasty fish such as Vaikom Karimeen(pearlspot), brackish water and fresh water prawns.