Discover the footprints of King Radama in Ambatondradama

Formerly called Ampamelankeloka or "place of forgiveness", the village of Ambatondradama is located 2 km north of Ambohimanga Palace. It was named after a spring that served as a natural bath for the Kings Radama and Andrianampoinimerina. Because of its water purity it became a sacred place, visited by many people who also leave offerings.
The site has several Doany (sacred places where religious ceremonies are practised in front of a stone). Built between 1818 and 1828, at the time of Radama's reign, Ranenibe Doany Ramaroanaka has a reputation for helping women seeking a companion or wanting to have children. Other requests concern social success or are the simple wishes of small children.
Continuing with your visit to the site, you will see the palace of Randriampitsarana and that of Raketamanga and the house of offerings for various rituals such as fati- dra and voady (solemn vows). Located behind, you'll find the trano fandroana, surrounded by red ribbon, the source of purification. After purifying by bathing, the patients proceed towards the other house where those in need reveal their wishes (never forget to bring offerings such as bananas, cigarettes, wine).
Above there is the "Doanin-dRadama" or "Vaton-dRadama" (stone of Radama) which is said to have been carried by King Radama with one hand from Ambohimanga to be deposited there. Next to it lies the stone of Andrianampoinimerina and behind, the source of Radama.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine August 2018

Useful Information

When to go

Visitors to this northern part of the capital are more numerous at weekends and during school holidays so avoid these times. The best months to go are between May and November. Attention: it is important to respect the fady (the forbidden), for instance, by not eating snails, pork meat or onions during visits.

How to get there

To get to Ambohimanga, take the RN3 and continue left at PK16. Allow for around 30 minutes from the city centre.

Where to stay

The closest hotel is the "Relais du Rova". Its environment is beautiful and calm with a soothing park overlooking Ambohimanga and Ambohidrabiby.

Where to eat

The "Ambohimanga restaurant" located a few metres from the entrance of the palace which offers Malagasy and European dishes. The "Maharitrafo" restaurant of the "Relais du Rova" is also recommended.

What to see

Visit this site to discover the history of Madagascar and more precisely that of Imerina. Relics, photos and documents illustrate the past. Beyond the discovery of Ambohimanga Palace, there is the corner of Andriamisara (King Sakalava, ally of Andrianampoinimerina). Finally, today, followers of martial arts go to draw strength on the hill top.