As per the request from many devotees, Iam writing few words about the Ponnambala medu. I shall elaborate on this subject with the second part of Shri Maha Sastha Vijayam which Ive started already working
Baktaparipala Pada renu
Lord Sastha, the Supreme master is being worshipped at Various temples. When Parasurama created Kerala, he requested the Supreme Lord to protect his land. Sastha was pleased with the penance of Parasurama and he appeared before him.
Lord Sastha promised him to stay in the land of God's own country and instructed Parasurama to build as many temples. 108 Sastha Temples are listed as Nuttiettu Sasthalayangal. Aong which one temple is called Aadhi Moola Kshetram or Sri Moolam Kavu.
During my long research for writing my book "Shri Maha Sastha Vijayam", I was searching for the book Shri Boothanatopahyanam- which actually contains the puranam of Sabarimala. Though till date I couldnot get the full text, by Bagawan's grace we could trace few chapters of the book.
The book contains one exclusive chapter titled "Swarnalaya Pratishta" which talks about a place called ponnambalamedu.
Bagawan Manikanda, during his human incarnation came to the forest. The Rishis and Yogis were doing penance at Veliyanavattam. They received the Lord wholeheartedly and wanted to perform puja to him.
tatrANgatasca bagawat tApasA bakti sAlina:
cakrirE bUtanAtasya pUjanam
The place is sanctified because the Rishis, Yogis and tapasvis made the Lord sit on a throne and did puja to the Akilanda Koti Brahmanda Nayaka.
The text says, Amidst dense beautiful hill the Maharishis, with their power, created a place for their penance. They created a Golden temple.
ramyE parvata srngAgrE tApasAsca tapObalAn
krtvA rkmAlayam tasminandarE maNikandaram
They made Lord Maha Sastha to occupy the central golden throne and then worshipped him.
ratna simhAsanE ramyE samstApya sakalEzwaram
This place became the most sanctified place of the entire universe. And later after the purpose of the avataram was acheived, Manikandan came back to this spot and merged with this maha peetam.
This is the holiest of the holy spots, where the Supreme Lord Maha Sastha resides with Poorna and Pushkala, His eternal consorts and countless other devotees, from where he performs his divine play, known as leelas.
When we research further, the main question comes.. where is it located?
The text gives answer for that too.
dUrE paNca dwayE dEvayOjanAyAm tu tatra ta:
its located at 10 deva yojana distance from Pampa
According to Valmiki Ramayana one yojana is equated to 9 miles. So 10 yojanas = 90 miles. Moreover its given Deva Yojana. One devayojana=1000yojanas.
So on the whole it means, 90 x 1000 = 90000 miles. This is humanly impossible. (Thats why its deva yojana)
Which makes it clear that this Golden temple on Ponnambalam is not a place which exists in the physical plane. It cannot be seen with the naked eyes.
Just like Kailasam and Vaikuntam... they exist but you cannot see them...
Even for 108 Vaishnava Divya desam only 106 is there in this world. Remaining 2 are to be seen in the other world.
Similarly this ponnambalamedu or Kanthamalai is a place which exists in the subtle plane and cannot be seen with the naked eyes..
Since one cannot reach here directly, some people consider the present Ponnambalamedu to be the Kanthamalai of Bhoolokam..
Ponnamblamedu - the mound of pon ambalam - Golden Temple....
The rahasya behind this place- to remind the original Swarnalaya Pratishta done by Rishis, exactly at this actual spot Parasurama installed the Adhi Moolasthanam - Temple of Sastha (Which probably might have been in Gold - as the name suggests).
'Makaravilakku' is the only festival here. The celebration of 'Makara Samkramam' in this temple is now known as 'Makara Vilakku'.
Later during the historic period, this temple was destroyed and looted by a dacoit named Udayanan..
Ancient texts like Kerala Kalpam or Boothanaothopakhyanam name this temple as 'Sree Moolam Kavu'. This is the original point of today's 'Sabarimala' temple. 'Makarajyothy' usually appears above the top of this hill.
We dont find any temple there now.. nothing is to be seen now... today we see a yantram with "XX" beejam engraved there...
It is the most sacred and divine place... The spot is very sacred and the divinity charged there in the atmosphere is beyond imagination.. But that is the state of ultimate bliss, contentedness, a feeling of fulfillment.