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| Last Updated:: 20/09/2023


Located at a distance of 4km from the famous Sabarimala Ayyappan temple at an altitude of 1170m Ponnambalamedu hill is in the Goodricke range of the Ranni forest division of Kerala state. It is an ecologically sensitive area and a critical habitat for tigers. The name is derived from the Malayalam words Pon (gold), ambalam( temple), medu ( hill). Thus the compound word refers to the “hill of the golden temple”. It is the scene of the Makaravilakku event which is conducted in the presence of half a million pilgrims annually.
Makaravillaku refers to the ritualistic lighting of the holy flame atop the mountain during the annual festival of Sabarimala. It marks the final phase of the pilgrimage season of Sabarimala which lasts about two months. The flame is lighted  at the time of  of Deeparathnana at the temple. The scene of lighting the flame is about 15km from Sabarimala Sannidhanam. It is a vast grassy area with a grove of trees and a pond thus making it truly a scenic place.
There is an ancient legend that here there was another temple built by Lord Parasurama as also a pond named Seethakulam. In ancient times, the people used to  celebrate Makara Samkaramam in the temple pond. This celebration is now known as Makaravilakku .There is also belief that Makara Jyothi is also appears  in the sky just above the temple and it is lighted by the “Goddess of the forest”.