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Vaikom
Vaikom
Location of Vaikom
in Kerala and India
Coordinates 9°28′N 76°14′E / 9.46°N 76.24°E / 9.46; 76.24
Country  India
State Kerala
District(s) Kottayam
Population 22,637 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Vaikom is a taluk and also its capital town, situated in the North-West of Kottayam in Kerala, India. Its western border is bounded by the Lake Vembanad, and is crossed by various distributaries of the River Muvattupuzha. It lies between Ernakulam and Kottayam. Vaikom is the oldest township in Kottayam, and among the oldest in South India.

Vaikom is populated by people from all communities, including Ambalavasis, Arayans, Christians, Dheevaras, Ezhavas, Iyers, Muslims, Nairs, Namboodiris, Goud Saraswat Brahmins and Varmas. As of 2001 India census[1], Vaikom had a population of 22,637. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Vaikom has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 88%, and female literacy is 84%. In Vaikom, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The Vaikom Shiva Temple, known as Thekkan Kashi [Southern Kashi], is the heart of the town, and is remarkable for the Vaikom Ashtami celebrations during November. It is notable as the venue of the Vaikom Agitation for achieving for the lower castes the right to walk on the roads surrounding the temple.

The traditional economy has been based on coconut and rice crops, and fishing; more recently, crops like nutmeg, black pepper, and latex have also been introduced. Tourism and software are also pursued as means to livelihood. Hindustan Newsprint Limited is situated in Velloor.

Vaikom is administered by a Municipality and is the seat of a Munsiff's court (among the oldest to be established in the Kingdom of Travancore). Vaikom assembly constituency is reserved for Dalits and is part of Kottayam parliamentary constituency.[2]

References


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Vaikom is a town in the Kottayam of Kerala.

By car

38 min from Cochin.

By bus

Buses and taxis are easily available at all times of the day from Kottayam and Cochin.

By train

Vaikom Road via Kottayam (15 kilometres)

By plane

Via Cochin International Airport (60km)

By bus

Vaikom has an excellent local bus service system and it is cheap.

By autorickshaw

This is cheap way of transportation between attractions.

By taxi

Local taxis are also available at cheap rates. There are many car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive. Rates are around Rs 7 per km but there are all sorts of extras.

By boat

When you are visiting places like Kumarakom, it's better to opt for boats, as many places in Kuttanad are inaccessible by road.

There are also good ferry services between places that are widely used by the locals, a cheap and scenic way of getting around.

By walk

Many attractions are near by one another so you could walk between them

  • Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
  • Lake beach
  • Murinjupuzha Kerala gramam
  • Kumarakom bird sanctuary
  • Kumarakom boating
  • Thannermukkom Bundu
  • Pathiramanal

Do

Another fun thing to do in Vaikom is to wander through Mahadeva Temple – the central area of the town. By the year end, the yearly Vaikom temple festival, Vaikothashtamy a lot of crowds and the roads are flooded with people. It is worth checking out the local gold and silver stores there. The silver anklets with bells are very pretty and cheap. There are also road side spice shops.

Eat

Karikku / ilaneer (tender coconut)

Sambhaaram (buttermilk), especially on hot summer days

Fresh toddy from the coconut tree, especially around the Kumarakom area. Take caution as adulteration of the brew is very common. Your best bet would be to get it from a local who has given over his coconut trees for extraction

Vaikom Temple is famous for Prathal (Mid day food offering by individual to others/anybody) and also Annathanam (served by the temple). Having this full fleged meal is very sacred too.

Drink

So many toddy parlour in Vaikom with excellent naadan food

  • Devaswom Guest House
  • Vaikothappan Tourist Home
  • Kalakkal Tourist Home

Get out

Alappuzha, famous for House Boats, is 30 km away.

Munnar, a hill resort in Idukki District, is 130 km east. And on the way to Munnar are

Kallil Temple - an old Jain temple but now a Hindu temple is 53 km from Perumbavoor.

Kodanadu - Elephant training centre.

Bhoothathankettu - A Dam, 8 km north east of Kothamangalam.

Thattekkad - Bird sanctuary near Bhoothathankettu.

Idukki District is a hilly region with lots of hill resorts. On the way to Idukki are Thommankutthu waterfalls in Idukki District via Muvattupuzha

Athirappilly waterfalls near Chalakudy, Thrissur

Thekkady and other places in Idukki

Kumarakom in Kottayam

Guruvayoor and Thrissur

Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud in Tamil Nadu

Lakshadweep is 5 day (seasonal) cruise from the Cochin port.

Cherai Beach is some 25 km away from Cochin city near North Paravur and its beautiful with a nice beach and local cousine.

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