Picture this: An enormous 70 ft tall sculpture of Jatayu on a hilltop overlooking an expansive multi-terrain landscape covered with greenery. This is sure to amaze everyone, but for adventure seekers it sets the tone for the thrills they will encounter inside.
Located in the picturesque town of Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala, the 65-acre Jatayu Earthâ€™s Centre is turning out to be a hot new tourist destination.
Keralaâ€™s first buildâ€“operateâ€“transfer (BOT) model eco-tourism project, the centre gained public attention after pictures of the massive Jatayu sculpture found their way to social media. Aiming to combine artistry, mythology, technology, culture, adventure, leisure and wellness, the centre is a unique entrant on the tourism map of India.
Jatayu Earthâ€™s Centreâ€™s adventure zone, which opened in August this year, offers an assortment of popular adventure sports and games such as paintball, archery, laser tag, rifle shooting, rock climbing, zip lining and rappelling for visitors. Open for groups of 10-100 people, the entry fee is Rs 3,500 per person.
The park will be fully functional from April 2018. Work is underway on a 500 m cable car and a walkway, which will enable easier and faster accessibility for everyone. A hele-taxi service for an aerial experience of the region is also planned. Other offerings on the anvil are a multidimensional theatre, virtual reality museum, Siddha healing treatments and moonlight dinners.
The mastermind behind the entire project is renowned filmmaker and sculptor Rajiv Anchal, who spent over a decade to make this project a reality. The giant bird sculpture crafted by Rajiv Anchal holds the Guinness Book of World Record for being the largest functional bird sculpture (200 ft long, 150 ft wide and 70 ft tall) in the world.
Even while building the world-class facilities, the ecology of the area has been kept intact. The electricity requirements of the centre are met through solar harvesting. A check dam that can store 20 lakh litres of water will ensure that there is no water scarcity throughout the year. The centre offers opportunity to local communities with projects like renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and market for agricultural products.
â€śThe centre is considered one of the best examples of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism in India. It is the result of almost 10 years of hard work,â€ť said Jayaprakash, the centreâ€™s administrative and investment director.
Tourists can also relish healthy, ethnic vegetarian dishes at an exclusive food court that has been set up in a natural setting among rocks and foliage.
Jatayu Earthâ€™s Centre, located right at the epicentre of south Keralaâ€™s tourist spots, is easily accessible by road. The nearest international airport is only 50 km away, at Thiruvananthapuram.