Jatayu Earth's Center
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Jatayu Earth’s Center, also known as Jatayu National Park or Jatayu Rock. It is a tourism center at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala. Standing at an altitude of 350m (1200 ft.) above sea level, this park holds the distinction of having the world’s largest bird sculpture.
Jatayu has an ancient mention in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He was a divine bird and a demi-God in the form of a vulture. When Ravana was taking Sita to Lanka, Jatayu tried to rescue her and free from the clutches of Ravana. However, Ravana clipped his wings and severely injured him. It is believed that Jatayu fell in the very same place where the big sculpture is built. So, that’s the story about a great bird and this historic place. Now let’s continue with my story and trip to this amazing place.
Jatayu Earth Center was not in my actual trip plan. I added this place as a stop to my first trip of 2020 to Varkala. I wanted to have this trip for a long time but the plans were made at the very last moment due to which I was unable to book my train tickets to Varkala directly. Hence, I had to book my bus tickets via Kollam.
Kollam is a city in the state of Kerala, on India’s Malabar Coast. The distance from Kollam to Varkala is around 35km only, so I decided to search for places nearby and found Jatayu National Park. I decided to reach Kollam and then spend a day visiting Jatayu Park and Kollam Beach, then head to Varkala next day. Well, as I said, this trip was a sudden plan, I did not get a lot time to think through the itinerary. So to clear it to you, if you are not a city fan or don’t really want to explore any other beach on your way of Varkala, I recommend not to stay in Kollam, in fact head directly to Varkala the same day. The reason being, the distance from Kollam to Jatayu Park is 38km and from Varkala to Jatayu Park is 27km, so you can be the judge. But if you want to explore more cities on your way, Kollam is a stop you must consider.
So, let’s get started...
This was a day trip. I took a bus from Bangalore to Kollam on Friday evening. The distance is around 680km and a bus journey would cost you around ₹1900. You should reach Kollam in the morning at 10:30 to 11:00am. I booked a hotel from booking.com at Shah International at Rs. 899. This is closest and a good priced hotel near to the bus stop (don’t expect a warm welcome though). I checked in and got fresh, had some brunch, and inquired about how to reach Jatayu Earth Center. You can take an auto or local bus to reach Kollam Bus station.
To reach Jatayu park you have to stop at Chadayamangalam. But unfortunately, there is no direct bus from Kollam to Chadayamangalam (not sure why). Take a bus from Kollam to Ayoor (Bus route is Kollam to Kulathupuzha), and from Ayoor you can hire an auto for ₹140-150 to Jatayu Park.
There are two ways you can reach the top- by stairs or by ropeway. The cost of ropeway and entry ticket is around ₹500. On reaching to the top of the hill, you will witness the mesmerizing huge Sculpture of Jatayu which was made by Mr. Rajiv Anchal and his team, which is a tribute to Women’s Safety and Honor. The same hill is also believed to have Giant footprints of Lord Rama and a small temple which was under construction. The place gives such positive vibes and a feeling of eternal peace. Also to mention, around 80% of the staff here are women, and the arrangements from tickets to guiding you to reach the top of the hill are impressive.
After spending some time there I headed back to the foot of the hill and took the auto to Ayoor (auto can be arranged by Jatayu staff) and from there back in the bus to Kollam. I reached my hotel, got fresh, and decided to go sightseeing the city and head to Kollam beach. The beach gets very crowded by evening. There are food stalls at the entrance, that’s it, nothing much to do. I sat there for some time and had my dinner on the way back to the hotel and got some sleep.
Next stop- Varkala
…. Well let’s take that story in the next part. Until then share this story with your friends and plan your trip to this beautiful place (But of course, after this Pandemic situation is over – Coronavirus).