The ancient Sanskrit texts, Bhargava Purana & Sanalkumara Samhita mention this place as Vaiyaghra geham and Vaiyaghra puram.
As per legends Vyaghrapada Maharshi got Siva darsana here, so it was fittingly called Vyaghrapadapuram. Later, when Tamil spread, the word Vaiyaghra got transformed as Vaikom.
Today Vaikom is one of the most revered Shiva shrines in South India. The temple along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful trisome. The belief is that if a devotee worships at these three temples before 'Ucha pooja', all the wishes are fulfilled.
Though Vaikkath Asthami is the better known festival at the temple, it celebrates many other festivals, some of them unique to the temple.