Jatayupara - 5 Things to Know Before Visiting
A giant rock cladded in legends, and an incredible opportunity for adventures.
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Jatayupara, meaning ‘Jatayu Rock’ is a large rock sprawling over 60 acres of land, housing a giant sculpture of the mythical bird Jatayu along with an adventure park. The rock lies 300 meters above sea level, having diverse geographic features ranging from hills, valleys, rugged rocks, caves, and cultivable lands.
Planning and development of Jatayupara and its facilities
The sculpture and the associated activities are conceived and developed by renowned Malayalam filmmaker Rajiv Anchal. The aim of the project- named Jatayu Earth’s Center is to create a destination which offers an adventurous Kerala experience to the visitors. It took Rajiv Anchal and his team almost ten years of planning and designing to make the project come to a reality.
The sculpture and the developments around it are made keeping in mind the eco system and the landscape. The rocks, hills, and vegetation spread across the area remain mostly from destruction as the sculpture and the park are built on top and around the hill with minimal damages. The electricity for the functioning of the facilities is harnessed from solar power as well.
The significance behind the name and the story of Jatayu
The rock and the adventure park are named after Jatayu- the mythical demigod bird in epic Ramayana. Jatayu is believed to have collapsed in this rock after failing in his attempts to prevent Ravana- the demon king of Lanka from kidnapping Sita- Lord Rama’s wife. Ravana slit Jatayu’s wing and escaped to Lanka with Sita in his flying chariot named ‘Pushpaka Vimana’. It is said that the injured bird and it’s lost wing landed on top of this rock and in time, the rock received it’s name Jatayupara.
There is a pond near the rock which is said to be formed by the stroke of Jatayu’s beak upon falling from the sky. Legend also mentions that Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana later came to Jaytayupara searching for Sita and gave deliverance to wounded Jatayu after hearing about the abduction. As a sign of this, there is a mark of footprint on the rock which is said to be that of Lord Rama and a small temple and statue honouring him is located on the rock.
The sculpture of Jatayu
The giant concrete sculpture is 60 meters long, 45 meters wide, 20 meters high, and has a floor area of 15,00 square feet making it one of the largest sculpture in the world. It is located on top of the rock at the spot where locals believe that the mythical bird Jatayu fell after being struck down by Ravana.
The sculpture is in the form of wounded Jatayu lying on its back with its giant wing spread, raising its head and legs up in air as if in a struggle. The three storied statue is planned to house many attractions such as Virtual Reality Museum, Multi Dimensional Theatre, a Cave Healing Centre, and more which are currently under development. From the viewing dock of the sculpture, one will have a birds eye view of the surroundings as Jatayu’s eyes are planned to be round windows opening out to the world.
The adventure zone around the sculpture
The adventure zone, which is already opened has several options for activities such as paint ball, laser tag, archery, rifle shooting, hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, ATVs, rappelling and a lot more. A full day long adventure program under the guidance of professionals is conducted here - excellent for team building activities.
The cable car and other amenities
A state of the art cable car is also being built in the area. It will be able to accommodate 400 visitors an hour, carrying them through 500 meters from the rock’s base to the top at 90 meters height. I addition to the cable car, a Heli-taxi services for helicopter tour is also under developments.
Getting to Jatayupara
Jatayupara is located in Chadayamangalam Town in Kollam District of Kerala State in Southern India. Nearest major railway station is in Kollam (35km) from where there are buses to Chadayamangalam Town.
Attractions Near Jatayupara
Kottukal Cave Temple
4.91km from Jatayupara
The 8th century cave temple carved out of a large boulder.
12.83km from Jatayupara
Kudukkathupara is situated at a height of 850 meters above sea level. It consists of three large rocks out of which you can climb the first two rocks. The tops of the last rock, which is also the tallest is inaccessible. About four districts of Kerala and some parts of the neighbouring Tamil Nadu state can be viewed from the top of the second rock.
23.15km from Jatayupara
Also known as Papanasham Beach by its historical beliefs.Only place in Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea
Kappil Beach Thiruvananthapuram
23.3km from Jatayupara
Clean beach and a long road sandwiched between the beach on one side and backwaters in another. The waves are a bit harsh here.
24.31km from Jatayupara
Thenmala Dam, located in Kollam district of Kerala is the second largest irrigation project in the state of Kerala. The water from the dam is used for irrigation and for power generation. It has the longest reservoir of the state.
Pathimoonnu Kannara Bridge
27.03km from Jatayupara
The 13 Kannara bridge or 13 Arch Bridge (Pathimoonu Kannara Bridge) is a 108-year-old bridge from the British era consisting of 13 arches. It is a major landmark on the Kollam-Sengottai railway line. The bridge connects two hillocks and stands on thirteen granite pillars each almost a hundred feet tall. The bridge is sandwiched by the Kollam-Thirumangalam National Highway on one side and the River Kazhuthurutti on the other. It is 102.72 meters (337.0 ft) long and 5.18 meters (17.0 ft) tall.
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What Visitors Say About Jatayupara
If you are here in the afternoon unlike us who went mid day, you will enjoy this a lot. The sculpture is breathtaking and the view from up top too. The pricing is a bit too high, 250 plus taxes if you hike up or 450 plus taxes if you go by cable car. They have developed the park keeping up in par with international standards but it comes with a premium that the locals might not be able to afford. That is such a shame. Also, there are a lot of adventure activities available too, Zipline, paintball, rock climbing etc.