Jatayu Earth Center, Kerala
Sculptures and statues are renowned and famed across the world. But I bet you wouldn't have seen anything finer than the Jatayu Bird Sculpture in any of the world's artificial fauna designs. The Jatayu Earth Center in Kollam district of Kerala is the finest example of an eco-friendly sculpting.
It boasts of staggering measurements - 200 ft long, 150 ft wide and 75 ft tall. This concrete structure is built in an area of 15,000 square feet and stands at an altitude of 1000 ft and is the Word's largest bird sculpture.
The beauty of the design can be seen in its decorated and layered feathers, sharp beak and fearless eyes. Also to mention that the sculpture has been built in the most eco-friendly way without destroying the natural greenery around. It can be witnessed from the top.
Sr. Rajiv Anchal, who is an Art Director as well as Film Director is the man behind this world famous sculpture. He is a specialist in sculpting from College of Fine Arts and is well recognised in the film fraternity with numerous awards and Oscar nominations in his kitty. It took him 10 years (from 2008-2018) to come up with this marvel. He was selected from an idea contest that was conducted by Kerala Govt.
Story of Jatayu
The Indian epic of Ramayana narrates the story of abduction of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama by the demon king Ravana. When Ravana kidnapped Sita and took her on his Pushpaka Vimana, he was met by Jatayu, a bird, who fearlessly fought with Ravana. But, Ravana with his sword cut one of Jatayu's wings due to which the wounded bird fell on the ground. Legends has it that the rock on which it fell is at the same place where this sculpture has been built.
Sita had given Jatayu a boon that it will live until Lord Ram arrives so that it can tell the story of Sita's abduction. The rock on which Jatayu had fallen quenched it's thirst till Ram and Lakshman arrived and since then the pond near the rock has never been dry. One can see the footsteps of Ram on the temple premises.
The story of Jatayu symbolises the fact that even a bird knows its duty to protect and safeguard women.
Picture: Footprint of Lord Ram and the Temple
How to Reach
One can drive to the Jatayu Earth Center in Kollam from any nearby city. If you are coming from a different city, then fly to the nearest airport in Thiruvananthapuram from where a 3 hours drive will reach you to this fine art.
Jatayu Earth Center is a unique experience with breathtaking views. The amazing roads that lead to this is a treat. No doubt you will not fall in love with this one! Here is the link to a Virtual Tour!