Jatayu - Kerala
Jatayu - Kerala
As I always say, Kerala is truly Gods Own Country and fascinates me a lot.
Yet another fact that proved it right was this memorable day trip added to my diary.
Recently we heard about the newly opened Jatayu Earth's Centre in Kerala and were eagerly planning to visit it. Our time to do so bloomed on 16th Jan 2020 and we set off towards JEC.
One can reach JEC by different modes. You can either choose to walk or use the cable car or use the Zipline (this is only to get down from the top).
Zipline is a thrilling way to get there wherein you will be strapped up; suspended on a cable laid from atop a launch tower and hanging on the cable zip you travel to the other end where a landing spot is located.
Helicopter rides are also available but it's pretty expensive. We chose to opt for the cable car ride this time. Next time around, I would probably walk.
Before narrating my experience, let us travel some centuries back to learn about Jatayu.
It is believed that Jatayu, the vulture, is a divine bird featured in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Jatayu is said to be the youngest son of Arunadeva, the God of Dawn. Arunadeva is the brother of Garudadeva (Eagle, the king of birds).
When Ravana abducted Sita and was flying through the forest towards Lanka, it was Jatayu who heard the cries of Sita and turned up for help.
Jatayu tried hard to release Sita from Ravana and there was a fierce battle that happened between them. But, the mighty Ravana couldn’t be felled. Jatayu ended up losing both its wings and fell down, failing to free Sita.
When Jatayu was on the verge of losing its life and lying in pain, Rama and Lakshmana who were searching for Sita found the wounded Jatayu.
Jatayu, who was Dhasaratha’s (Rama’s Father) close friend, gave them the information about Ravana abducting Sita before falling dead. Rama and Lakshmana performed the last rites of Jatayu and continued with their search for Sita.
To sum up, Jatayu tried to protect Sita and couldn’t, but its valour in fighting the vicious Ravana will always be remembered.
The story ends here. Now, as me and my better half entered the Jatayu Earth's Centre, we were awe struck at the massive structure. Rocks were chiseled and carved in such a way that it resembled the bird Jatayu itself.
The claws and beak were perfectly shaped and the feathers featured around the body looked remarkable. It was definitely looking majestic and made our jaws drop in awe.
It is believed that, the Jatayu, after fighting Ravana, fell in this place where the sculpture is mounted and hence the name, Jatayumangala. (But I am not so sure. It is believed so).
Lord Rama’s temple is also coming up inside the precinct and is under construction. As you can see in the images, there is a phrase inscribed in the entrance which reads, “Dedicated to Women's Safety and Honour”.(May be because Jatayu tried to protect Sita).
Lord Rama's temple, Jatayu and the dedication to women, all these date back to the great epic of Ramayana, which I feel is a true dedication indeed.
Apart from sightseeing, there are many adventurous activities around JEC that will be fun to indulge in. We enjoyed the 12D film which was really a fantastic experience.
Visitors are not yet allowed into Jatayu Earth's Centre, as it is officially not yet opened since the work is still going on. It might take a year to get completed before one can get inside to view it in full.
I'm sure that the inner structure will be much more splendid and just can't wait for that to happen.
So, for anyone planning to visit Kerala, Jatayu Earth's Centre is a MUST SEE option. It'll be truly worth the time spent.