Visit the world’s largest bird sculpture

It was a Sunday and I wasn’t surprised to see a big crowd and a long line to get to the cable car to see the world’s largest bird sculpture at the Jatayu Earth Center. I was returning from Ponmudi and stopped at Chadayamangalam, where a sculptured hill overlooked the town. The silhouette of the head, claws and beak of the bird sculpture was visible from the road.

This sculpture is over 15,000 sq. Footov, opened in 2018, was curated by Rajeev Anchal and falls under the Kerala Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model of tourism. Spread over 65 acres and on four hills, it rises to a height of over 350 meters.

It is believed that Jatayu, the mythological bird from the Ramayana epic, fell on this hill after a valiant battle with Ravana. For the same reason, the locals call the hill Jatayu Paara (Paara means “rock” in Malayalam). However, I have heard this story about Jatayu in several other places, with Lepakshi being the most popular. The story may or may not be compelling enough, but the artwork on display is absolutely mesmerizing.

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We waited a good hour in line for the cable car. The waiting area is well stocked with shops selling light snacks and drinks. We got on the cable car and we moved up, from where we had panoramic views of the surrounding greenery and cities. As we approached the top of the hill, a sculpture appeared. Measuring 200 feet long, 70 feet high and 150 feet wide, it is a massive sculpture with beautifully sculpted wings, head, claws and all other parts. Apart from the claws, which are made of steel, the rest of the sculpture is made of concrete. We walked enjoying the joy of seeing such a huge and amazing work of art. The aerial views of the surroundings were a delight, and my eyes constantly darted between the demonstration of nature and the wonder of man.

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There is also a museum, a cafeteria and a temple at the top of the hill. On the way back to the waiting room, you can visit the 6D cinema and play area for children. There are also plenty of adventure activities indoors such as zipline, paintball, Burmese bridges, bouldering and more. Jatayu Earth’s Center is open from 10:00 to 17:30. For those who don’t want to use the cable car, you can climb a natural path with steps leading to the top. Helicopter services are also offered if you want to save time. Cable car rides, sculpture visits, adventure games, etc. are charged separately.

How to get to the center of the Earth Jatayu:

Thiruvananthapuram is a major city nearby, 47 km away, with the nearest airport and railway station. Although not frequent, there are buses from Kollam (38 km) and Thiruvananthapuram to Chadayamangalam, where the Jatayu Earth Center is located.

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