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Home / Kerala / Sabarimala / About Pandalam Palace | Lord Ayyappa

About Pandalam Palace | Lord Ayyappa

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Pandalam in Kerala is the chosen and blessed place where Lord Ayyappa, the presided deity in Sabarimala, lived his human residence as the son of Raja of Pandalam. The kingdom of Pandalam was created around 79 ME (903 AD) by the Pandalam royal family, descendants of Madurai’s Pandya kings.

The Pandya royal family had to flee Madurai because of the threats their own ministers made in their lives. A branch of the fleeing family moved west, briefly staying at several places it acquired during the purchase. The family remained in motion for more than a century, eventually reaching Pandalam in 79 ME.

This was chosen to be the permanent home of the royal family. The leader of Venad (later Travancore) helped establish the kingdom in Pandalam. According to the Travancore State Manual, the Pandalam Rajas “were always friends with the kings of Travancore”. When all the family members arrived in Pandalam and a complete kingdom was established, it was 370 ME (1194 AD).

The territories under Pandalam’s administration extend over 1,000 square miles, mainly to the east and cover the mountain ranges, which include 18 sacred hills, including Sabarimala. The principality was also known as Airur Swarupam. Raja also used the title “Airur Sree Veerasreedhara Kovil Adhikarikal”.

The royal family of Pandalam belongs to the “bhargava gothra”, while other Kshatriya families from Kerala belong to the “viswamithra gothra”. Secularity was and remains one of the guiding principles of the Pandalam family and the peaceful coexistence of several religious groups. There are many examples of Pandalam Rajas who help a lot in building churches and mosques on their territory.

When Marthanda Varma, ruler of Venad, established the Travancore Kingdom in 925 (1749), Pandalam was not annexed but allowed to remain independent. This can be due to two reasons:

1) The cordial relationship that existed between the two families, even since the beginning of the kingdom of Pandalam
2) To quote the Travancore State Manual, the cooperation of the Pandala Rajas “was a great advantage for Marthanda Varma for fixing Kayamkulam”
After the Tippu invasion off the coast of Malabar in 965 ME (1789), Pandalam was asked to pay Rs. 2,200,001 for the Travancore government, towards the cost of war. The amount was to be paid in installments from various sources. Once in 969ME (1794AD), the revenues of the Sabarimala temple were mortgaged by the governor of Pandalam at the time. In 995 ME (1820 AD), the governor of Travancore at the time suggested that the Travancore government would support all members of the Pandalam royal family and their future descendants in a manner consistent with their status forever , provided that the Raja Pandala in writing. agreement with the Travancore government which accepts that the Travancore government officials collect the proceeds from the sale in Pandalam.

Pandalam Palace

In Raja Pandaja accepting the previous proposals, the kingdom of Pandalam merged with Travancore. Since then, a monthly pension has been paid to the Pandalam family. Administration of the temples, including Sabarimala within Pandalam and Travancore Devaswom’s Board of Directors.

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