Pandalam  is unique among the renowned Ayyappa Pilgrim Centers and temples all over the world, as it is the hometown of Lord Ayyappa ( Manikantan). The king of Pandalam ,  Highness Raja Raja Sekhara Pandian didn’t  have any children to inherit his throne. While he went hunting in the banks of River Pamba, he found Lord Ayyappa as infant Manikantan. The baby had a bell around the neck and revealed immense power and vitality. Rishi Agasthya advised Raja to adopt Manikantan and the King took him to Pandalam Palace as his son.
Manikantan grew up as a wonderful prince with charisma and miraculous powers. The Minister of Raja got jealous of the Prince. He planned treacherous schemes to kill Manikantan, but the Prince was always the winner. Finally with the help of Queen the Minister was able to convince king that the milk of tigress is the only medicine to save the Queen from the ailment and Manikantan is the only one who can achieve this. Prince agreed without any hesitation and went to the dense forest.

Manikantan killed ‘ Mahishi ’ , which was one of the objectives of his Avathar (incarnation). From the forest Gods and Goddesses accompanied him as tigers to the palace. He came home riding a tigress and took rest at the entrance of the Palace beneath a Banyan tree. The King and whole people from the palace came to receive and adore Manikantan. He healed the Queen, consoled the people and showered his blessings on them . The place where all these marvelous things happened was subsequently known as  “ Manikantan Althara.” It was from the place Lord Manikanta  shot an arrow which launched at Sabarimala. Pandalam  Raja constructed a temple for Manikanta and  devotees paid homage to the deity every year during Mandala Makaravilaku Season.

Since the revelation of Viswaroopam and divinity of Lord Manikanta and since the spiritual prophesies and advice of Rishi Agasthya, devotees of this locality used to collect round this holy place chanting prayers and carrying out bhajans. This place was ornamentally decorated and oil lamps were being lighted. During Mandalam Makaravilakku season ie: vrishikam first to Makara Samkramam devotees from far and near trekked to this holy place to see and pay homage to this Holy Abode and Thiruvabharanam of Manikanta kept in safe custody of Valia Raja  of Pandalam Kottaram (King of Pandalam ) .As the number of devotees grew, devotees of this locality registered a Sakha of Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangam to render services to the Sabarimala Pilgrims. Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham has been undertaking valuable services to the pilgrims coming to Pandalam to see and worship the sacred abode of Lord Manikanda by providing conveniences for their short stay and darshan The “Thatwa Masi” of Sabarimala has been attracting innumerable pilgrims to this holy shrine and increasing every  year. Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham has been providing Annadanam to the pilgrims every day at noon. Annadanam is sponsored by  benevolent public from all quarters of society as the favorite Vazhipadu (offering) of Lord Manikanda. This Annadanam starts on the commencement of the pilgrimage season and lasts up to Makara Samkramam. Now Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham is planning to provide food for pilgrims thrice a day. The blessed are here by requested to render their services and financial assistance for this holy scheme. The Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham has opened an account in State Bank Of India Pandalam Branch     for this purpose. Round the clock information centre is working here for the proper guidance of pilgrims coming from other states.  Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva  Sangham provides free accommodation to pilgrims and space for their vehicle to stay safely. Medical facilities are also opened to the pilgrims free of cost as a service.

The Prathishta of Manikantan Althara Temple , the only one of its kind , Lord Manikanta mounted on a Tigress , was consecrated in 1999 third of Dhanu (Malayalam Calendar) . From that day every year this Prathishta day is observed by a huge “ Samooha Sadhya” drawing the presence of lakhs of devotees.    

 From Dhanu 21st of every season temple festival are held up to 27th of Dhanu. On 28th of Dhanu The Thiruvabharanam of Lord Ayyappa is carried to Sabharimala in procession accompanied by innumerable devotees. These Thiruvabharanam procession go round the Manikantan Althara Temple where they are received by Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangaham Devotees.
In the past two decades two “Ashtamangala  Prasnams.” Were held in front of this temple and both prophesied that this abode is Glittering example of Sabharimala Chaithanya and the power of Lord Manikanta  unsurpassed here. No wonder,  the prophesy continues if we witness a new abode of Lord Manikanta with all the beauty and divinity in the immediate future. May Lord Manikanta and the blessed devotees help us to achieve this.


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