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Jatayu Earth’s Center
Art has been the most conventional way to convey messages from the present time to the future. From the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra to Mamallapuram in the south, India boasts many sculptural marvels from centuries in the past. But, why stop carving when you still got golden hands? Ever heard about the world’s largest bird sculpture? In a small town called Chadayamangalam in the Kollam district of Kerala, a south-Indian state stands a magnificent bird sculpture made out of the rock, the Jatayu sculpture. Spread over a multi-terrain landscape of over 65 acres, this marvelous sculpture which is about 200 feet long, 150 feet broad and around 70 feet high, entered the Guinness book of world records as the largest of its kind. Everything from Jatayu National park ticket price to details about Jatayu Nature Park is covered in the article further.
Jatayu earth’s center Chadayamangalam, Kerela location
The Jatayu sculpture is housed in the Jatayu Nature Park or Jatayu Earth’s center, which opened to the public on the 4th of July, 2017. It is located a thousand feet above sea level.
The site is easily accessible by road, air, and rail. It is situated only 500 meters away from the Main Central (MC) road. The nearest airport is the Trivandrum international airport, located 52 kilometers away.
If one convenes to travel by train, the nearest railway station is the Kottarakkara railway station, which is at a distance of 24 kilometers, followed by Kollam junction at 38 kilometers and Trivandrum Central at 51 kilometers. Jatayu Nature Park is open from 9.30 in the morning to 5.30 in the evening.
Sculpted by Rajiv Anchal, an acclaimed film director, art director, and sculptor, it took his team ten, long, dedicated years to finish the project. The project is one of its kind, being the first major Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) tourism project, which was realized with the harmonized effort of the Tourism Department of Kerala and Rajiv Anchal along with private equity holders. Guruchandrika Builders and PropertyPvt.Ltd. have leased the government-owned land for 30 years, to build and operate the park.
The park majorly covers four hills:
- Hill 1: the Jatayu rock hill,
- then, Hill 2: the adventure rock hill,
- Hill 3: the elephant rock hill,
- and Hill 4: the kitchen rock hill.
Hill 1-Jatayu sculpture
The Jatayu sculpture is located on Hill 1. While the outer appearance reflects a massive eagle of rock, the inner core of this sculpture has more magic to unfold. An audio-visual museum, spanning over five levels, awaits the visitor inside the sculpture with the story of Jatayu, based on the mythological character the sculpture was built. Also, a multi-dimensional theatre is located inside the wing of the sculpture. Adjacent to the sculpture is a Rama temple owned by a private trust. The museum and theatre inside the sculpture will be functional in the next phase of development.
The Jatayu rock hill is accessible to tourists via the cable car ride. With technology from Switzerland, this wondrous ride through the air takes one to the sculpture from the main entrance in a matter of a few minutes. One may also choose to reach the sculpture through an extensive, picturesque walkway with 826 steps, spanning over a kilometer.
Jatayu-world’s largest bird sculpture
Atop the Jatayu hill is also a huge rainwater reservoir with a capacity of 20 lakh liters! This check dam built between two valleys was constructed to facilitate uninterrupted water supply to the park, which was one of the major concerns while planning the project. Hill 2, also called the adventure rock hill is the favorite of all adventure junkies! Hosting a variety of adventure activities that include rappelling, jumaring, bouldering, valley crossing, chimney climbing, vertical ladder, archery, zip-line, commando net, rifle shooting, dog walking and much more, this adventure center has it all! There is also a special opportunity to trek through a private, safe forest for an hour.
World’s largest bird sculpture
Another feature of the adventure center is the integrated paintball station spread across a massive natural terrain. The adventure center is accessible only for groups with sizes ranging from ten to a hundred members. All the activities in the center are designed and maintained following international standards of safety.
The elephant rock hill, or Hill 3, houses of a 250-meter long zipline zone which is a part of the adventure center. You can also try your luck in sky cycling here. Apart from these adventures, if you are looking for a charismatic evening in the hills, this is your pick! With facilities for a campfire, a moonlight dinner with live music, and sleeping under the stars, your vacation couldn’t get any better!
Jatayu Earth’s Center ecofriendly
Hill 4 is which will be functional in the next phase, will provide a traditional Siddha rejuvenating accommodation in natural caves. Housing an herbal garden with a variety of flora, one can also avail of a traditional Siddha rejuvenation package of ten days. Heli-taxi service shall also be incorporated on this hill.
The tourism department also provides an opportunity to be a part of forestation and conservation projects. The Jatayu Earth’s center, the world’s largest bird sculpture, is an eco-friendly nature park. The hills, valleys, vegetation, and caves in the area remain unaffected despite the increasing number of enthusiasts visiting the monument.
The electricity needed for the functioning of the park is harnessed by solar power. Also, an agricultural society is formed to promote organic farming in the nearby fertile lands. Very soon, the fresh products from this initiative shall be available in the to-be installed stalls in the park.
Jatayu Park Ticket Booking
The Jatayu National Park ticket price
The Jatayu National park ticket price at the Jatayu Earth’s center is 400 INR + tax.
Jatayu Adventure Park entry fee
If one wishes to avail the adventure center, the following is the price structure:
- 15 adventure activities only (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): 1000 INR
- Fifteen adventure activities and trekking only (10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.): 1500 INR
- 15 adventure activities and paintball only (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): 1800 INR
- Trekking and paintball only (Afternoon session 3 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.): 1300 INR
- All activities + paintball + trekking (10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.): 2300 INR
- Full day activities (10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.): 3500 INR
The tickets necessarily need to be pre-booked online. Tickets aren’t available at the park. After confirming the tickets at the park, one is provided a wrist-worn GPS tracking device. This device helps the authorities to track the tourist in case of any unfortunate development. For large groups, a discount is available on the Jatayu National park ticket price for the adventure center.
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The massive Jatayu sculpture in the Jatayu Earth’s center is inspired by a valiant fighter bird Jatayu from the Hindu epic of Ramayana. In Ramayana, when Rama and Sita, the divine couple were in exile, Sita was abducted by Ravan, a demon and the antagonist of the story, when Rama was not around. The hapless Sita cried out aloud for help. This is when Jatayu, a divine vulture, who was Rama’s trustworthy friend came forward to help Sita. Jatayu fought Ravan with all his might but was rendered motionless after Ravan clipped off his wings, using his sword.
It is believed that Jatayu fell back on the Jatayu rock in the aforementioned Jatayu Earth’s Centre, now the world’s largest bird sculpture. Sita, the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi blessed Jatayu for sacrificing himself to help her. Jatayu later succumbed to his injuries after meeting Rama and tell him the whereabouts of Sita. It is the said Lord Rama himself performed his late rites on this rock.
The legend is proof that Jatayu symbolizes the protector of women. Rajiv Anchal, devoted this project to this brave warrior bird, keeping this profound principle in mind. The statue is dedicated to women’s safety and honor.
10 facts about Jatayu
Ten facts about Jatayu, the mythological hero who inspired the sculpture:
- Jatayu is the younger son of Aruna, who is the charioteer of the sun-god Surya, and the brother of the mighty Garuda.
- Like Garuda, Jatayu could assume human form when he wanted to.
- Jatayu’s elder brother Sampati lost his wings as a child while protecting Jatayu who flew so high on a light-hearted contest that he was about to swear by the sun’s flames. Sampati later proved pivotal in guiding the monkey armies and Hanuman, in locating Lanka, where Sita was hidden.
- Sampati who was about to devour the monkeys on a mission to find Sita had a change of mind on the mention of Jatayu, his brother, who helped Rama.
- Jatayu was a friend of Dasaratha, the father of Lord Rama and former-king of Ayodhya.
- Jatayu had once protected Dasaratha during a war between the demi-gods and the demons, where Dasaratha sided the demi-gods. This was way before Rama was born.
- Jatayu met Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, Rama’s younger brother during the beginning of the exile. Thereafter, he remained nearby to protect the trio from any danger.
- Jatayu was the first to assist Lord Rama in his quest for Sita, just before breathing his last.
- Jatayu managed to cause significant damage to the Pushpaka Vimana, Ravan’s divine flying chariot while fighting the demon to save Sita.
- Ravan used Chandrahaasa, a godly sword gifted to him by Lord Shiva to clip off Jatayu’s wings.
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The majestic Jatayu sculpture
While Jatayu, a character from the Hindu mythology, teaches us a thing or two about women’s safety and honor, the sculpture inspired by this notion provides us with a mesmerizing holiday in the hills. The majestic Jatayu sculpture in the Jatayu Nature Park in Kerala is indubitably a must-visit destination for one and all. Haven’t you already packed your bags?