Remember Jatayu, the mythical creature that fought Ravana in a bid to rescue Sita? The Jatayu Nature Park or Jatayu Earth Center has finally been opened to the public, after years of planning and building.This picturesque location is in the Chadayamangalam village, in the Kollam district of Kerala,the nature park and tourism center has been in the works for more than two years. It gained fame for two reasons. The first is its location: the park lies in the site where Jatayu, the mythical demigod in the form of an eagle, was felled by the demon king Ravana. And the second is the massive statue of the fabled character, said to be the largest bird sculpture in the world.
Spread across 65 acres of land, the new nature and tourism park has been built under a public-private partnership. It has an Ayurvedic resort, a digital museum and what it claims to be a 6D theater. What will be more interesting, however, is the adventure one with more than 20 activities to try out, from rifle shooting to paintball and rock climbing and rappelling. The park utilizes the natural rock formations for its adventure activities.
There’s a cable car facility too, but the main draw here is the sculpture of Jatayu. It is 70 feet tall and 200 feet in length, spreading 150 feet wide. Developed by regional filmmaker Rajiv Anchal, the sculpture shows the mythical eagle on its back, wings outstretched to depict its fall after heroically fighting against Ravana, who was returning to his kingdom of Lanka after kidnapping Sita, the wife of Rama.
The park is a big deal for the locals. It will support the community with rainwater harvesting and renewable energy generation projects. Not to mention the tourism revenue that will come in with the new park. The park lies in Chadayamangalam’s Jatayupura, already a big tourism destination thanks to its association with the epic tale of Ramayana.
The Jatayu Earth Center was expected to launch much earlier. There were talks of opening the park in early 2017 and eventually August of this year. Ultimately, the park has opened up in a phased manner. Even right now, certain parts of the park will remain closed until December 2017, since construction is still going on. The cost for entry into the park for a day is going to be INR 2,500 per head.
The nature park has taken more than a decade to turn into reality. Rajiv Anchal and is team have been working with the government on what is ultimately the first ever build-operate-transfer model private-public partnership in the tourism industry in Kerala.