After the Kurukshetra war Pandavas ascended the throne and started ruling the Kingdom. They conducted the Aswamedha Yaga and ruled the Kingdom for thirty-six years. Then the King Udhishtira realized that the Kali Uga is about to set in. He told his brothers that the Kali Uga is to set in by the succeeding Friday and that Kali Uga will bring inauspicious days with natural calamities and qualities like truth, purity, unselfishness etc will vanish. So he said that they will handover the ruler-ship of the Kingdom to the Uvaraja Parikshit and will start vanaprastha and ultimately Mahaprasthana to attain the Holy abode. But before that each one of them will have to suitably install their Ishta Devata. So they came to Kerala looking for suitable abodes. It is said that Udhishtira carried out the Installation at Thrichittar, Bhima at Thrippuliyoor, Arjuna at Nilackal Nrayanapuram, Nakula at Thiruvanvandoor and Sahadeva at Thrikkodithanam.
But Lord Krishna was not happy with the abode at Nilackal as it was in forest in a far off place and His devotees had to face hardships to visit Him. More over water was scarce there. So He wanted to come down to the planes near His devotees. So he Lord took the form of a brahmachari - Vamana- and came to the banks of river Pampa. There He saw some people belonging to the Chakka tribe making a float with bamboos to sail down. The Lord told them that he too would like to sail down and would like to have a float .So they readily made a float using six bamboos. The Lord set sail on the float of six bamboos down-stream and the tribal men accompanied Him on another float. As the day worn out and night set in the float was sailing down the river and they were passing near the present Vilakkumadam area. Lord saw a lamp lit on the southern bank of the river Pamapa and the float automatically anchored near the southern banks where the lamp was seen. Lord got down from the float and blessed the Chakka tribes men and He came to the hut where the lamp was lit. The old farmer in the hut received the Brahmachari with utmost respect and made arrangements for the evening rituals and stay etc. As lamp was seen in a hut the place came to be known as "Vilakkumadam".
By next morning people in the village came to know of the arrival of the saint brhmachari and started pouring in to pay obecience. The brahmachari came out of the hut and walked towards the east. He reached the present "Keezhthrikkovil" (Balaramamurthy asthanam in Aranmula temple) and decided to be there. As it was in a place where water may enter during monsoon He decided to sit at a higher level and orderd "Bhoothagana" to make the elevated abode. Then He ascended there and vanished.
The diety installed by Arjuna at Narayanapuram in Nilackal was shifted to the present temple by Goddess Bhoomidevi. .......... So goes the legend. As the lord came in afloat made of six bamboos ( 6 mula) the place name became Aranmula and as the light (lamp) was seen in a hut (madam) the place where the Lord first landed came to be known as Vilakkumadam. This is how the Aranmula Vilasam Hamsageetham depicts the history of Aranmula and Vilakkumadam. Sri Cherukol Nedumbiyil Kochukrisna Pillai is the author Aranmula Vilasam Hamsageetham.
From time immemorial Thiruvaranmula Temple Kodiyettu in the Malayalam month Makaram (Flag hoisting for temple festival) starts with a procession of bamboo from Vilakkumadam. Also for the Pushpabhishekam which is conducted in the month of Medam Flowers are taken in a procession from Vilakkumadam.