The Jatayu National Park located at Chadayamangalam Village in Kollam district, Kerala is definitely a proud addition to Kerala Tourism. Named after the mythical bird, Jatayu, from the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, the adventure park is built to promote a three-in-one scheme - of fun-filled adventure, mythology and wellness tourism. The major attraction of the tourist center is the huge sculpture of the mythical bird, spanning 200 feet in length, 150 feet in breath and 70 feet in height. The enormous bird is spread across 15,000 square feet on top of a hill.
According to local folklore, Jatayu is said to have breathed his last on this rock, where the sculpture is built. The mythical bird died while fighting with the demon king Ravana, in his fruitless but selfless attempt to rescue Sita- the wife of Lord Rama, whom Ravana had abducted.
Designed on a BOT (Built-Operate-Transfer) model, the park is the first partnership between the Kerala Govt. and two private companies- Guruchandrika Builders and Property Private Ltd- a public private venture. The rock theme park renamed Jatayu Earth Center is located on 65 acres of rich woods filled with vibrant rock formations.The park is the brain-child of a famous Indian movie director, Rajiv Anchal. As per him, it took him and his team nearly 7 years to complete the sculpture which is majorly done on concrete and completed with a stone finish.
What to See in the Jatayu Earth Center:
The theme park is any adventurer/ traveller’s dream dwelling. It will house the following:
A multi-dimensional museum inside the massive sculpture spread across three floors. The first two floors will showcase the happenings of the Ramayana period or the Treta Yuga in multi-dimensional images and beautiful paintings.
The 6D theatre inside the wings of the bird will screen the epic battle between the bird and the demon
A bird’s eye view of the local terrain is yet another spectacular feature of the statue. A flight of stairs to the eye of the bird can get you the best avian view of the beautiful countryside and the Arabian Sea stretching between Kollam and Varkala.
For adventurers, the park has a variety of games like paint ball, laser tag, archery, rifle shooting and rock climbing. The ubiquitous Kerala Ayurveda resorts are another major attraction of the Jatayu Earth Center.
A 500m long cable car is fitted to take people from the base station to the top of the rock in 5 minutes. The 16 cable cars, imported from Switzerland are first of its kind in South India and have all the latest fittings. And if you want to walk it to the sculpture or rather climb the rock, there is a 1.5m paved walkway built through the rocky landscape giving you the best views of the woods.
How to Reach Jatayu Nature Park?
Your options to reach the Nature theme park are several.
Driving down in your own car you just need to pop up your Google Maps to get to your destination.
Ride on a KSRTC bus to Chadayamangalam village and your destination is just around the corner. The nearest KSRTC bus stations are at Kollam and at Varkala. Kerala State Road Transportation website (www.ksrtc.in) will give you the choice of buses from where you are located.
The nearest railway stations are again Kollam and Varkala. The nearest airport is the Trivandrum airport which is about 46km away from the Jatayu rock.