City Tour & Ambohimanga
Located 21 km from the Malagasy capital, the sacred hill of
Ambohimanga is one of thehighlights of the history that the visitor
never tires of travel. Andrianampoinimerina residence in the late
eighteenth century, it contains important remains of Rova (Royal City)
and an ensemble of sacred places where the Malagasy people still come to
pray to vows (voady).
Ambatomiantendro the rock, the "hill that points to the sky" is one of those, and probably the most visited. It is said that this promontory was a favorite of the king who had Andrianampoinimerina Fanorona to play this game of checkers with a traditional
"checkerboard" is still visible, carved into the rock. According to legend, the sacred stone (vatomasina) has a unique power: who made a vow before it increases its chances to see.
Traditionally, this includes women who want to have a child. To do this, they must take, away, seven stones arranged in two small holes in the rock: on the left for a boy to the right for a girl.
If several pebbles fall into the hole, which is rare, they bring them back home and waiting for their wish come true. Once the child is born, they return to the rock to lay offerings, including honey, or to make a sacrifice of beef or goose. Over time, this ritual has become widespread and now anyone can try his luck in the "game of the stone."
East of the Rova is another sacred place. It comes in the form of two
ponds dug into the rock that once served the royal baths - they say that
only virgins were allowed to fill with water.
Here, the ritual is to throw coins in one of the basins. If the wish comes true, people are sure to bring offerings, namely live fish. A very balanced as the coins recovered in the basins are typically used to feed the fish....