The sacred Ashtami festival of the temple takes place during the dark lunar fortnight of the Malayalam month Vrischikam (Sagittarius) which concludes on the Ashtami day. On the Ashtami night, Thidampu, a symbolic idol of the Lord Siva (known here as Vaikom Mahadeva) is taken out in procession. On its way, many deities from nearby temples join the procession. The cultural fare includes classical music and dance performances including night-long Kathakali performances on the eighth and ninth days. Getting there: Nearest railway stations: Ernakulam, about 36 km towards the north; Kottayam, about 40 km towards the south. Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 56 km away. Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom, Kottayam district.