Jatayu Nature Park is a popular tourism destination in Kerala. The park is named after the mythical bird from Ramayana — Jatayu, who tried to rescue Sita from Ravana. The nature park has been started with the aim of promoting mythology, adventure, and wellness tourism. Located in Chadayamangalam village in the Kollam district of Kerala, this rock theme park is a beautiful sight as well as a sense of adventure for the tourists.
This park is the first public-private partnership tourism initiative between the Kerala government and Guruchandrika Builders and Property Private Limited. It is designed on a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model.
World’s largest bird sculpture
The sculpture is recognized as the world’s largest bird sculpture with dimensions of 200 feet in length, 150 feet in breadth, 70 feet in height and covers a floor area of 15,000 square feet made out of compacted concrete.
The statue is at the heart of the 65-acre large landscape of the Jatayu Nature Park, which is also known as Jatayu Earth’s Centre. A major attraction is an observatory located in Jatayu’s eye, from where visitors can enjoy a view of the nearby countryside that is full of picturesque valleys, mountains, and green cover.
Inside the sculpture, there is a functional multi-dimensional mini theatre. Within the sculpture, a multi-level museum is being developed, which will open in the next phase. Worth a mention is the world-class gondola facility and helicopter ride service that gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the statue.
The sculpture sits where Jatayu took his last breath
Locals believe that the mythical bird from Ramayana fell there after being struck down by Ravana. The sculpture sits on top of a hill. This colossal sculpture is a ‘towering tribute to women’s safety and honour’.
As in Ramayana even though Jatayu could not stop Ravana from abducting Sita, his sacrifice symbolized valor and sacrifice for eons. The bird, a vulture, is not standing tall with his head held up. He is lying on his back, defeated, and injured with a broken wing. He is seen shrieking, with curled talons, as he gasps in the final moments of his life.
Despite this, he is still fighting to protect the woman Sita from being abducted, as he falls onto a rock. Standing as a symbol for the protection of women, this is how the artist-sculptor-filmmaker Rajiv Anchal envisioned Jatayu at the Jatayu Earth’s Centre in Kerala.
The makers envision the entire area to be a sustainable eco-tourism spot for national as well as international tourists. Keeping up with this philosophy, the park has a huge rainwater reservoir built on the hilltop with a storage capacity of 1.5 million liters of water.
The farmers sell the fresh organic produce to the visitors through a dedicated stall area created in the park.
To further the cause of eco-tourism, the park employs solar energy to sustain its electricity needs. The makers want the park to be attractive for all kinds of tourists and hence have added facilities and adventure activities to augment visitors’ experiences. Some of these activities include zip-lining, rock-climbing, etc. The park is open for tourists, and tickets can be booked online.