Vaikom is a taluk and also its capital town, situated in the North-West of Kottayam district in Kerala, India. Its western border is the Lake Vembanad, and is crossed by various estuaries of the River Muvattupuzha. Vaikom is the oldest township in Kottayam district, and among the oldest in South India. 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 near Vaikom. 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.