Vaikathashtami is a major festival in the temple at Vaikom near Kottayam in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshipped in the form of a Shivlinga in the temple.
Vaikathashtami, otherwise known as Mahadeva Ashtami or Vaidyanatha Ashtami, is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha Ashtami in the month of Vrichigam as per Malayalam calendar.
Lord Shiva in this temple is known as Vaikkathappan.The Linga is huge in size,5 feet high and is believed to exist from Treta Yuga.
The Vaikathashtami festival exists for 12 days and the most significant day is Ashtami.
On Vaikathashtami, Lord Shiva along with Parvathi gave darshan to Vyaghrapada, a saint.
Ashtami Vilakku is a major event of the festival.
One more significant event is the visit of Lord Muruga from the nearby Udayanapuram Subrahamanya temple to Vaikom temple to pay respect to Lord Shiva.
Crowds of Devotees visit the temple on Vaikathashtami to worship Lord Shiva and seek His blessings.