I've seen the Statue of Liberty (New York), Christ the Redeemer (Brazil), Shivagiri Statue (Bijapur India), Adiyogi (Coimbatore, India), Little Mermaid (Denmark), Ballet Dancer (Montenegro), Catherine the Great (Russia) and many many more. While all of them gave me goosebumps of sorts at their first view, the statue of Jatayu in Kollam Kerala took this feeling up a notch.
India has been home to world record statues and figures in the recent past. This statue of Jatayu is the world's largest sculpture of a bird. At 200ft wide, 150ft long and 75ft height the statue occupies a floor space (and volume) of about 15000sqft. Just walking around the statue makes you go wow like nothing else.
It just feels surreal when you witness something of this stature in your own backyard but at the same time disappointing that the world doesn't know about something like this, when it should be more prominent and famous than it is. Something I had mentioned about Dudhsagar, Gol Gumbaz, Drung Waterfalls, Hampi & many more sites across India.
What an incredible work of art & patience this magnificent statue of Jatayu at Kerala's Jatayu Earth's Centre is. Something that took an artist 10years to create tells a tale of passion, patience, perseverance and skill. Having seen it on the internet many a times it was a longing wish to head there and check it out in person. And my god it didn't disappoint even one bit. I was simply mindblown by the magnanimity of this art work when I saw it.
The beauty of this enormous creature can be appreciated a lot more if you can get an aerial view of it, either by a helicopter or a drone shot. I was not so fortunate to get either as the helicopter wasn't operating on the day and I didn't have a drone. Even if the copter was available I don't think I would have paid 2500Rs for a 10min flight anyway. But scouting the internet, here's a few pics/vids of the aerial shot so you can appreciate it the way I couldn't from air.
The Jatayu Earth Centre itself is constructed in high standards. It's on par with international tourist locations. As soon as I walked in, everything from the ticket counter to the security check in reminded me of the Panama Canal vistor centre in Panama. It was of that high international standards. It does cost about 500Rs a person that included the return Cable Car ride (7-10min one way) to the top & back, but it is so well worth it.
Once you hit the top and are mesmerized by the statue, you get to walk around it for a 360degree view of the Chadayamangalam forest area in Kollam district. I visited during the monsoons, so the dense green woodlands all around was beautiful to say the least. As an added bonus, I was there during the sunset hour and it made the evening even more special than it would've been other wise.
There's a lot of other things to do at the site like paintball, rapelling, rock climbing, archery etc, all as part of the adventure park that it is. Additionally the entrance/exit building also houses 6D Cinemas, Video Game arcade and more. It was a Monday evening when I was there, so not many of these were operational. The best thing I ended up doing was sipping a chai at the top near the bird's foot and witnessing the sunset in parallel. Couldn't have asked for anything better.
The Statue of Jatayu is surely Kerala's top tourist destination in my mind. If it's not, it needs to be. It deserves to be one. If you haven't been there yet, add it to the list of things to do in Kerala and bring it right up to the top. When you go there and experience this beauty, you'll know why 🙂
About the Statue
The giant concrete statue of Jatayu is built on a mighty rock named Jatayupara (para means rock in Malayalam). The colossal statue is 200 feet long,150 feet wide and 70 feet making is the largest functional bird sculpture in the world with an enter into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The concept of the statue is the brain child of renowned film director, art director and sculptor Mr Rajiv Anchal. Rajiv & his team took ten years to meticulously design and complete this monumental project. Jatayu Earth's Center tourism project is spread over 65 acres of multi terrain landscape at Jatayupara near Chadayamangalam town in Kollam district of Kerala. The terrain is 1000 feet above sea level and has diverse geographic features ranging from hills,valleys,rugged rocks, caves to cultivable lands.
Source: Who is Jatayu? Jatayu Earth Centre
According to Ramayana, Jatayu is a demi-god who has the form of a vulture. When Ravana the demon, was abducting the goddess Sita when Jatayu fought valiantly and tried to rescue her. But as he was very old Ravana soon defeated him by clipping his wings, and Jayatu fell to earth. Rama & Lakshmana hile searching for Sita, chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu, who informed them of the battle with Ravana and told them that Ravana had headed South. Jatayu then died of his wounds and Rama performed his final funeral rites.
Source: Wikipedia/K.V., Raman; T., Padmaja (1995). Indian Epic Values: Rāmāyaṇa and Its Impact:
For more information on how to reach this place, timings, things to do etc check this link below.