Jatayu Nature Park

Jatayu Nature Park

India is a land of myths and legends. From birds to places to people – it is not surprising to see mythology, lore, and history blending perfectly with our modern everyday fast-paced life. The Jatayu Earth Centre, at Chadayamangalam near Kollam, Kerala, is an interesting example of how mythology still touches and inspires us. At the heart of this one of a kind, the rock-themed nature park is a statue of the giant bird mythical Jatayu from the ‘Ramayana’. A trip to this innovatively designed tourism spot will leave you in awe at the pure genius behind scaling up the legend of a mythical bird into one of the best examples of sustainable and responsible tourism in India. Here’s what you need to know before you go to Jatayu Earth Centre.

How the mythical bird spread its wings

More than a decade ago, Chadayamangalam was just one of those small towns that you passed by as you drove down the Main Central Road connecting Trivandrum to Kottayam and beyond. A quaint town with a link to the Ramayana. It was believed that Lord Rama and His brother Lakshmana chanced upon the giant bird Jatayu mortally wounded on the hillside during their trip to find Sita Devi. The bird who had valiantly fought to save Sita from the clutches of Ravana breathed his last on Lord Rama’s lap after passing on the information. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Rama on the hillock and a footprint believed to have been His. However, the rocky hillock on which the temple stood was under threat of mining. A bunch of activists rallied against it. Their struggle was a huge success and it was decided that a sustainable, eco-friendly tourism project would be set up on this hillock. In the course of time, it was decided that this project spread across 65 acres would be the first Public-Private Partnership tourism initiative under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) model in the state.

Renowned sculptor and filmmaker Rajiv Anchal who had always nursed the idea of creating a work which would stand the test of time stepped in. The project was planned meticulously and hours of hard toil was clocked before the giant bird statue and the Jatayu Earth Centre took shape.

The towering Jatayu Statue