Now, tourists can get a bird's eye view of the Jatayupara Nature Park, the state's first BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model Ecotourism park in Kollam's Chadayamangalam, with chopper services beginning from the Jatayu Earth centre on Monday. The 10-minute chopper ride will offer tourists an aerial view of the Jatayu sculpture inside the park – which is the world's largest bird sculpture. This is also the first tourist destination in all of Kerala to provide helicopter services.
Speaking to TNM, Rajiv Anchal, Chairman and CEO of Jatayu Earth Centre and the brain behing the Jatayu sculputre said, "The idea of starting the chopper services was to give tourists an aerial view of the sculpture as it is most breathtaking when viewed from top. The 10-minute ride will take you over the sculpture and bring you back. The chopper seats six people at a time and the ride will cost Rs 2400 plus taxes per person."
The chopper services were flagged off by state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Sunday from KTM venue in Kochi.
"Five lucky draw winners who attended the Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi were given free chopper rides from Kochi all the way to the Jatayu Earth Centre to see the sculpture on Sunday. That is how we kickstarted the operations," he said.
As of now the park has one helicopter in its service, and a heliport which can accommodate two choppers at once has also been built inside.
"Depending on the business we get and how many tourists we get for the chopper rides, we will increase the fleet of choppers," he added.
Apart from the helicopter services, the Earth Centre and Nature park also has a cable car system with 16 cars imported from Switzerland. Installed at a cost of Rs 40 crore, the cable car services are offered to tourists at Rs 400 for a to and fro ride per person.
The park – which is the first of its kind eco-tourism project in public private partnership – has the world's largest bird sculpture, apart from the helicopter system, cable cars and adventure park. Close to 13 non resident Indians have invested in this tourism park, which is built at a cost of Rs 100 crore. It was built in association with the Tourism Department of Kerala. The sculpture, which is of the mythical bird Jatayu, mentioned in Ramayana.
With the helicopter service, tourists will now be able to view the park with the sculpture through a bird's eye view, without any obstructions. This will even help them take breathtaking aerial photos of the park and sculpture.