Vaikom is situated on the western side of Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It shares its border with Vembanattu Kayal (lake). It is the oldest township in Kottayam district and amongst the oldest in Kerala. Its importance in Indian history is due to the 'Vaikom Satyagraham' against untouchability, in which Mahatma Gandhi and Periyar Ramasami participated. It is easily accessible from Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam. Mahadeva temple, also known as Thekkan Kashi (Southern Varanasi), is situated here and is famous for Ashtami (vaikattashtami). Vaikom has lots of backwaters and greenery and has a high potential for tourism. The people living here comprise a mixture of Hindus, Christians and Muslims.
The economy, up until the 90s, here has been predominantly based on agriculture with coconut and rice being the major crops cultivated here. Fishing is also of importance to the economy here. More recently spices like Nutmeg, Black pepper, latex have also caught the attention of Vaikom farmers. The recent software revolution in India has had its impact on Vaikom too, with the establishment of numerous computer training institutes. Also the recent tourism boom in Kerala has helped change many a fortunes with land prices going at a premium.
Vaikom is a pilgrimage centre.
Vaikom municipal park has now modified and its also an attraction to the visitors. The best time to visit Vaikom is during the months of Nov-Dec during the Ashtami festival. Like other parts of Kerala, the summer days (March-May) are usually very hot and monsoon (June-July) brings lot of rain.
Kumarakom the tourist attraction known for its back waters is hardly 10 km away. To reach Kumarakom you can take either water transport or bus.
As of 2001 India census GR India, 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.