If you are conversant with the Hindu epic, Ramayana, it tells the story of Jatayu, a vulture, who witnessed the evil Ravana abducting Sita, wife of Lord Rama. In its attempt to save her, Jayayu, a vulture, attacks Ravana but is felled by him and this huge vulture falls to the ground after losing one of its wings.
Such is the power of this 5000-year old epic written by Valmiki, that it has sparked the imagination of generations of Hindus and others alike. And one of them was Rajiv Anchal, a famous filmmaker, who thought of it when he was doing Fine Arts back in the 1980s.
Anchal had harbored this idea for over 10 decades and had approached the Department of Tourism. Says he, “I had presented a model for this sculpture to the Department of Tourism…Although they were impressed, it didn’t take shape back then.” But he eventually got the green signal.
What he’s done is nothing less than epic. He created a gigantic sculpture of the famed vulture, as it had fallen on the earth with one wing. Called the Jatayu Earth Centre, this park cum tourism center is located in Chadayamangalam, almost 46 kilometers (29 miles) from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the state of Kerala, India. According to the Ramayana, this is the very place where Jatayu actually fell.
It took Anchal almost 10 years to complete this sculpture that stands at an altitude of 350 meters (1,200 feet) above the mean sea level. This mammoth vulture measures 61 meters (200 feet) in length, 46 meters (150 feet) in width and 21 meters (70 feet) in height. It covers an area of 1,400 square meters (15,000 square feet).
This Rs.100 crore (US$14 million) Jatayu Nature Park was finally opened on December 2017 and has been rightly dedicated to women, since Jatayu symbolizes protection of women.
Jatayu Earth Center