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Most of the original buildings and many Palace records are now no more due to the periodic havoc played upon them by flood and fires (mostly coinciding with similar mishaps at Sabarimala!) . Yet a few still remain which could have witnessed the divine presence of Lord Ayyappa Himself.
Pandalam has two palace complexes now: one around the Valiya koikkal Temple and other around the Kaipuzha Temple. The Valiya koikkal temple is on the left bank of the river Achenkoil and the Kaipuzha temple, about 200 meters down the river on the right bank( by road the distance between the two is around 1 k.m.). Devotees during Sabarimala pilgrimage come to Pandalam to worship at various places within the Palace complex , the important among them being are given below
The small shrine built around a holy banyan tree, by the main central road, marks the entrance to the palace precincts. The ceremonial processions that emanate from the Valiya koikkal temple in the palace complex on the Mandalam day(11th Dhanu) and on Ayyapan's birthday ('Uthram' in the month of Kumbham) reach here and perform the 'nayattuvili' (call to go for hunting) and 'aazhi' (fire walking) before they return to the temple.Nalukettu (quadrangular house) On the left of the road from Manikantan Aalthara to the Valiya koikkal temple is the Nalukettu(quadrangular house) and straight ahead, at the far north is the Vadakkekottaram(northern palace). Both date back to the dim corridors of a distant past, a fact which accounts for their present dilapidated look. The prayer rooms ('Thevarapuras') of both these places are still intact. Idols of 28 gods and goddesses, apart from 'Sreechakram' and 'Salagramam' are worshipped in these rooms. The presence of the idol of Madurai Meenaskshi here signifies the royal family's Madurai origins. Srampickal Palace
This palace stands to the north of the Valiya koikkal temple. This is where the 'Thiruvabharanam' (Sacred ornaments) are kept now. Devotees have the opportunity to worship the ornaments and view the royal palanquin here during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival season. On the 28th Dhanu at 4 am in the morning, the ornaments are taken out of the strong room and moved to the temple for the devotees to view. Valiya koikkal Temple
The story goes that after the departure of Lord Ayyappa to Sabarimala the king Rajasekhara was overcome by grief. On his return from Sabarimala where he had constructed a shrine for the just vanished Lord, the king as, advised by Ayyappa built a small temple modeled on the Sabarimala shrine close to his palace for daily worship. The Lord will be adorned with the Sacred ornaments 'Thiruvabharanam' on two occasions every year: the Vishu and Ayyappa's birthday ('Uthram' in the month of Kumbham). Legends has it that this ritual is done so that the women members of the Royal family can see the Lord in his divine splendor with the jewels adorned since they cannot visit Sabarimala.
Having functioned as a private place for worship for the members of the Royal family for long, the temple differs from other temples in many aspects. The temple is now being administered by the Travancore Devaswom Board. . Kaipuzha Temple.
There are two shrines in this complex: one dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other dedicated to Lord Krishna in the 'Santhanagopalabhava'. The former is managed by the Palace administration and the latter by the Travancore Devaswom Board. The figures of the nine holy planets (Navagrahangal) is sculpted in the ceilings above the Holy Altar of the Krishna Shrine.
This is the oldest building now existing, since the Thekkekkettu palace was gutted in 1987 (coinciding with a fire accident at Sabarimala). Beneath the northern wing of the structure is an ingeniously built pond acclaimed by many as an engineering marvel. It was once meant exclusively for the use of the ladies of the palace. On his way to Sabarimala with the sacred ornaments , the Raja briefly halts at this palace to receive ' vibhuthy' and blessings from the Valiya Thampuratty ( Senior most female member of the family).
What has been reconstructed of the Thekkekettu Palace which was gutted in 1987 fire (almost coinciding with a fire accident at Sabarimala) is a small shrine dedicated to Manndi Bhagavathy, who is the family goddess of the Royalty. The Raja on his way to Sabarimala worships in this temple.
The Pathinettampadi (18 Steps) at Pandalam is the eastern exit of the Palace on the Kaipuzha side . The Raja on his way to Sabarimala with the Thiruvabharanam leaves the palace complex by stepping down these Pathinettampadi