A 1000-feet high rocky hill cluster at Chadayamangalam in south Kerala, believed to be connected with mythical character ‘Jatayu’ in epic Ramayana, will woo tourists as the country’s first ‘Rock Theme Park’.
According to local tradition, the rock, ‘Jatayupara’ in Kollam district, is the place where the mythical bird ‘Jatayu’ fell after its wings were slain by the ten-headed Ravana by his lethal sword ‘Chandrahasam’.
As per the epic, Ravana, who ruled Lankapuri (Sri Lanka), chopped off one of the wings of the bird when it tried to block his airship ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ in which he was forcibly taking away Rama’s consort Sita.
The project is a blend of ecological and epic tourism and the state government, through this public-private partnership venture, is building a high-tech theme park on the rocky terrain with a mammoth statue of ‘Jatayu’ as its core.
A host of facilities such as 4D theatre complex, cable van, ayurveda resorts and massage parlours, ethnic cottages and a mural painting gallery are also taking shape at the spot, located about 50 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The whole site is conceived as a resort where holidayers can relax and have a peep into the culture, heritage and tradition of India through films, paintings in a fitting ambience of panoramic settings, said Rajiv Anchal, noted film maker and sculptor, who is the art-director of the project.
“The huge statue of Jatayu, laying on its back with wings spread out with raised head, will be the heart of the park. The statue, 65 feet in height, 200 feet length and 150 feet width, is designed as a functional structure within which a 50-seat 4D theatre complex will be built,” Rajiv said.
Once completed, the Jatayu sculpture would be the biggest functional sculpture in Asia. It can be termed as the tallest as well, he said.
“The ‘Rock Theme Park’ will strengthen Kerala’s position in the global tourism map. It will open a fresh destination for foreign as well as global tourists,” Rajiv said.
“As the name itself suggests, rock will be the theme of the park. As part of the project, many artificial rocks, rock-like structures and cottages will be built around without harming the natural rock. It will be built in such a way that nobody could easily understand which is original rock and which are created by artists,” Anchal said.
Rock-carved honeymoon cottages and herbal gardens to grow a variety of shrubs and plants will be other features of the theme park.
The Tourism Department has entered into a pact with a Dubai based company to install a ‘cable car’ facility in the ‘Jatayu Rock Theme Park’. The Rock Theme Park will strengthen Keralas position in the global tourism map.