Believed to be the place where the mythical creature, Jatayu had fallen after being mortally wounded by Ravan before he fled to Lanka with Sita, the mighty rock of Jatayupara in the town of Chadayamangalam, near Kollam, has been fascinating travellers and pilgrims from time immemorial.
Two years ago, Jatayupara was back in the limelight with the announcement of a sustainable tourist and adventure centre to be underway.
With pictures of a colossal concrete sculpture of Jatayu in construction being circulated on social media, most of us had been eagerly looking towards the completion of the project.
Jatayu Earth’s Center is now open for visitors, where one can partake in thrilling activities like hilltop camping, trekking, jumaring, bouldering, rappelling, ziplining, rock climbing, archery, shooting amidst others.
One also gets to test their strength through obstacle courses like Burma bridges, commando nets, log walk, vertical ladder, chimney climbing and side joola.
What makes the adventure centre even more awesome is the completely natural backdrop in which all the activity zones have been modelled. What’s more, the centre even has a paintball zone of its own.
Yes, you read that right, paintball!
Spread over 65 acres across four hills, Jatayu centre does not just include adventure sports and camping experiences, but also a healing centre that practices the traditional practice of Siddha
A food court erected on a flat enclosure between two cliff faces, and a large boulder takes care of catering services in an eco-friendly manner and lends a tranquil dining experience lit by moonlight amidst glorious vistas of rocky cliffs.
The adventure centre is the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) tourism initiative under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) model in the state and sources its water requirements from a rainwater harvest reservoir that has a storage capacity of 20 lakh litres. The electricity needs are met through solar harnessing.
Despite emerging to be a crowd-pulling tourist destination, none of the biodiversity in the region has been affected by the construction of the centre and embodies the true essence of nature.
The mastermind behind the whole venture is the renowned filmmaker and sculptor Rajiv Anchal, who took a break from the films and spent over a decade to envision the project to reality. In fact, the giant bird sculpture, which has clinched a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest functional bird sculpture in the world, is a work crafted by the creative director.
To reach atop, you can either opt for an hour-long trek through the forest surrounding the rocks or drive down.
The 500m cable car and walkway facilities are underway that will enable easier and faster accessibility for everyone. A hele-taxi service for an aerial experience of the region is also in the pipeline.
There are few more ventures pending to make the Nature Park fully operational, which is expected by April 2018.
Nevertheless, the place has already begun to receive flocks of adventure junkies and nature lovers since August and going through the pictures of ecstatic visitors on social media, we are rather excited too!
The centre accepts bookings for groups with 20 or more members over the age of 14 and above. The prices start at ₹3,500 per head for a group of 20 to 39 members and one can avail discounts for larger groups.
So, you can either plan a trip with your extended family or a group of friends and colleagues, but rest assured is an exhilarating experience replete with adventurous and healing activities that you wouldn’t forget in a long time.