It is believed that Lord Ayyappa, after fulfilling the mission of his Avathar amalgamated (merged/ encapsulate) with the Lord Dharmasasthav and became one. Lord Ayyappa, the Avathar of Sri Dharmasasthav had the mission of rescuing the world from the powerful demon, Mahishi. Sri Ayyappa, the God gifted child to the King of Pandalam was brought up as the first son of the King. Sri Ayyappa who mastered in all Sastra and martial arts was also the chief of the army of King of Pandalam. After completing the mission of rescuing the earth from the demon Mahishi, Sri Ayyappa disclosed his mission to King of Pandalam and asked to rebuild the Sastha temple at the location showed to him and merged with the Dharmasasthav, deity of Sabarimala temple.
During wild hunting near Pampa, King of Pandalam found a divine infant with a bell (Mani) locket in a chain at his neck (Khandam) and hence was named “Manikandan”. On finding the child abandoned in the thick forest, King searched for the parents of the child, but found none. Then a Sanyasi(hermit) approached the King and asked him to take the divine child to the palace. The King brought him up as his son and trained him in all Sastras. He excelled in all martial arts especially in the use of bow and arrow. So he was also named “Villaliveeran”. It is believed that the Goddess of war, Sriporkali Bhagavathi appeared before him and blessed him to excel in all wars. Vavar and Kadutha were his assistants in the Pandalam army.
During his period, there were conspiracies in the palace against the increasing influence of Sri Ayyappa in the kingdom. The minister of the kingdom convinced the queen on the danger of Sri Ayyappa’s growing influence over the king. The queen feigned illness and the royal physician prescribed that the milk was required to cure the queen. Sri Ayyappa had taken the responsibility of bringing tigress’ milk for the treatment of the queen. When Sri Ayyappan reached the forest, the Bhoothaganagal (servants of Lord Shiva) welcomed him and took him to the mountain peak where the hermits made a golden temple. They seated him on a diamond throne and offered all poojas. That place in Kanthamala is Ponnambalamedu. On the way for tigress’ milk, Ayyappa encountered with Mahishi and eliminated the powerful demon. Ayyappa then entered the forest for tigress’ milk where he met Lord Shiva and at his behest sat on the tiger, and came back to the palace
Sri Ayyappa is believed as the Avathar of lord Dharmasasthav born by the union of Hari(Lord Vishnu) and Haran(Lord Shiva). Lord Dharmasasthav had the mission of saving the heaven and earth from Mahishi, daughter of Asura named Kurambhan. Mahishi was determined to take revenge for killing Mahishasuran, her close relative. Mahishi got a special boon from Brahma that only by the son of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva could harm her , that too after staying in the earth for 12 years. After obtaining this boon, mahishi conquered heaven. Then Devas pleaded to Dharmasasthav, son of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva to save heaven. Sri Dharmasasthav defeated Mahishi and banished her to earth. Mahishi fell at Azhutha, in the western bank of river Pampa where Sri Ayyappa, the avathar of Dharmasasthav was in quest for tigress’ milk. He fought with mahishi and defeated her. Mahishi realised that it was Hariharaputhran fighting with her and worshipped the Lord. Sri Ayyappa pacified her and gave her path to Mukthi. Then the Mahishi transformed to a beautiful lady. It is believed that this is the deity Malikapurathamma. The body of Mahishi was buried at the bank of river Azhutha. That place is now called “Kallidamkunnu” .Sabarimala pilgrims now take bath in Azhutha River.
After saving the world from demon, Sri Ayyappa returned to Pandalam palace with the streak of tigress’ thus the entire countrymen and the palace came to the revelation that Sri Ayyappa was an incarnation of God to save the earth. Pandalam Raja realized the reason for Sri Ayyappa’s avathar and requested Sri Ayyappa to stay in his kingdom to protect the country. Sri Ayyappa asked the king to rebuild the temple of Dharmasasthav lucidly described the details of the proposed structure. He showed the exact place of the temple by shooting an arrow into the forest. King builds the temple at the spot where the arrow fell. Lord Ayyappa left his body at “Manimandapam” and merged with the deity of Dharmasasthav.