The Jatayu bird sculpture, which will soon become the largest of its kind in the world, is nearing completion atop a giant rock situated 750 feet above the sea level. Director Rajiv Anchal is the ‘all-in-all’ of the Jatayu nature park project at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district, which comprises an adventure park, cable cars and facility for rock trekking.
For the last 12 years, Rajiv Anchal has been working on the project. Initially, the government had deputed to complete the sculpture of Jatayu here. Later, the government elaborated the project plan aiming to develop it as a tourism spot centered around the bird sculpture. They appointed Rajiv Anchal to complete this project on BOT basis. This is how the project on the 65-acre hilly terrain, which could soon become one of the hallmark features of Kerala, took wings.
The project was envisioned as one that would conserve nature. The main challenge was to carry water to the 750-feet high rock cluster. To solve this problem, a check dam to collect rainwater was constructed by joining two of the rocks. Since the harvested rainwater was available round the year, it soon facilitated the formation of a new ecosystem here.
Video – vasu jayaprakash
As water became available, the valleys started turning green. Further, various medicinal plants were planted and an ecology that shelters small living beings was formed. Thus begun the journey to accomplish a great and responsible tourism project. Another plan has been envisaged to form a model agriculture project by linking the nearby fields.
In order to reach the sculpture, the tourists have to take a one-km long cable car ride and the entire cable car system is imported from Switzerland. Once the tourists finish the ride, amazing sights await them inside the sculpture. The enormous sculpture can accommodate a fair number of tourists at a time. The tale of Ramayana in Treta Yuga depicted here will be a magical experience for the visitors. People can walk through the completely air-conditioned interior of the sculpture till the bird’s beak. Then they enjoy the views through the bird’s eye. The left eye will give you the distant sight of the Arabian sea while the right one will provide you a glimpse of nearby sites.
Also, the sculpture houses a 6D theatre system depicting the Ravana-Jadayu fight. Another major attraction is the 2-hour trekking through the rocks and valleys in the hill. The unique feature is the facility for rock trekking, which you cannot find in any other place in Kerala. Apart from that, an adventure park is also arranged here. Helicopter trip is also part of the programme.
The 12-year-long two-phased project will be completed by September this year and will be opened completely for the tourists. The first phase was completed in April.
Legends has it that the fight between Jatayu and Ravana took place atop Jatayu rock. The 200-ft long, 150-ft wide and 75-ft high sculpture reminds visitors of the Jatayu, which got injured after the fight with Ravana.
A temple pond, which believed to be carved by the beak of fallen Jatayu, is also situated here. The myth says that Rama, who came looking for Sita, found the injured bird and gave Jatayu liberation. According to belief, Sree Rama’s footprint got engraved on the rock during his meeting with Jatayu.