Sabarimala: All arrangements are ready for the beginning of the two-month Sabarimala temple festive season, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Saturday.
Chandy told IANS that he was at the pilgrim centre a few days ago to review the arrangements and felt happy with what was being organised for this season.
“We have spent Rs.62 crores in the past few months for increasing the facilities for the smooth pilgrimage. A new parking facility has been created for over 4,000 vehicles. A new waste treatment plant has also been commissioned,” he said.
Chandy pointed out that the temple receives more non-Keralites than Keralites during the two months and for that the government has allotted five acres of land to each of the south Indian states.
“Karnataka has already taken possession of the land while Telangana will sign the agreement soon, while the other two states Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are expected to do it shortly,” Chandy said.
He said these states would have the freedom to build guest houses and post their officials.
“Through this arrangement, we expect that people from these south Indian states will get better facilities and service from their own officials,” Chandy added.
The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple opens its doors on Monday evening, signalling the commencement of welcoming devotees from early Tuesday. It coincides with the first day of the Malayalam month of “Vrishickam”.
Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.
The practice among many pilgrims before setting off for the holy shrine is to undertakes an intense 41-day penance where they do not wear sandals, wear a black dhoti and eat only vegetarian food.
Each pilgrim carries a kit (lrumudi) that contains coconuts broken just before climbing the 18 steps. A pilgrim carries it on his head during the pilgrimage and without it, nobody is allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.
On 5th December 2017, The Jatayu Nature Park became partially operational by the inauguration of Adventure Rock Hill
The giant concrete sculpture of Jatayu is built on a mighty rock named Jatayupara
This rock theme park will be a treat to the eyes as well as the sense of adventure for the tourists
Jatayu Nature Park is a tourism centre at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala. It holds the distinction of having the world’s largest bird sculpture and is one of the best Kerala tourist places. On 5th December 2017, The park became partially operational by the inauguration of Adventure Rock Hill. The structure is designed by Rajiv Anchal and is about 38 km away from Kollam and 46 km away from Thiruvananthapuram.
The giant concrete sculpture of Jatayu is built on a mighty rock named Jatayupara (Jatayu is the name of the bird and para means rock in Malayalam). As per Hindu mythology, when Ravana was abducting Sita Mata to Lanka, Jatayu intervened to rescue Sita Mata. During the clash, Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana but in the end, Ravana got the better of Jatayu. While searching for Sita Mata, Rama and Lakshmana chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu, who informs them about the abduction by Ravana. Thus Jatayu Earth’s Center is conceptualized with environmental protection and ecological equilibrium.
It is said that Jatayu fell on the rocks in Chadayamangalam after his wings were chopped off by Ravana.
The mastermind behind this structure is a renowned film director, art director and sculptor Mr.Rajiv Anchal. He along with his team took about ten years to meticulously design and completes this monumental project. The project is the first joint effort by the Tourism Department of Kerala and Mr Rajiv Anchal to create a unique tourist destination which offers almost all aspects of Kerala tourism. The land on which Jatayu Nature Park is been constructed is leased by Guruchandrika Builders and Property Pvt. Ltd. from the government for 30 years to build and operate.
This rock theme park will be a treat to the eyes as well as the sense of adventure for the tourists. Jatayu Nature Park is designed on a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model.
Jatayu Earth’s Center tourism is spread over 65 acres of the multi-terrain landscape at Jatayupara near Kollam district of Kerala. The structure is 1000 feet above sea level and has diverse geographic features ranging from hills, valleys, rugged rocks, caves to cultivable lands. The destination is right at the centre of south Kerala and is easily accessible. The nearest international airport, Trivandrum, is only 50 km away from the location.
Jatayu Earth’s Center is an apt example of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism in India. The hills, valleys, caves and vegetation spread across 65 acres remain almost unaffected even though a tourist destination. It is believed that the Jatayu sculpture stands as a guardian to the hills and rocks by protects them from everything. Hence, the name is quite suitable for this project.
One of the tasks to build the structure was the uninterrupted availability of water source because due to multi-terrain location, it was really tough to find enough resource for water. But after a thorough search, a check dam was constructed between two rock valleys with a capacity of twenty lakhs litres for water conservation. Thus, the water issue was instantly solved by storing the rainwater and using it throughout the year. Then the electricity required for the project was domestically harnessed from solar power.
All along the location, a planned agricultural society is formed to promote organic farming. Hence, visitors will be able to buy fresh products from these farms.
Paradigm of courage
Jatayu is believed to be a symbol of valour and chivalry. Risking his life, Jatayu tried his best to save Sita Mata from her Ravana. Hence, the Jatayu sculpture stands as a towering tribute to women’s safety and honour. Jatayu depicts the period when humans, animals and birds cared for each other as fellow beings and lived in peace on this Earth.
Rajiv Anchal concludes that the structure symbolism has great relevance in today’s social scenario since the crime rate against women is on a high. Each visitor at Jatayu National Park is expected to understand and follow the inner essence of this inspiring creation.
Take a look at some of the listed facts of Jatayu National Park.
The tourist park sprawls over 65 acres of land and is home to a giant sculpture of Jatayu. The herculean dimensions of the great mythical bird Jatayu goes 200 feet long, 150 feet broad, 70 feet in height and has 15,000 square feet.
The sculpture is constructed at the same spot where Jatayu is said to take his last breath. Locals believe that the mythical bird fell on the rock after being struck down by Ravana.
The bird sculpture will also house a 6D theatre and an audio-visual based digital museum inside it. It is done so that people will get a glimpse of Ramayana. Visitors would also be able to cherish the bird’s eye view experience from 1,000 feet above the sea level, from inside the sculpture.
The sculpture has been designed and developed by a Malayalam film director, Rajiv Anchal. He is a renowned filmmaker and sculptor. Apparently, he is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Guruchandrika Builders and Property Private Limited.
In an interview with ‘The Indian Express’, he said, “It took us seven years to build the sculpture. It is basically a concrete structure that has been given a stone finish. Building it has been a major struggle as the terrain was hard and we had to carry all the materials to the top.”
The Jatayu Nature Park will also have an adventure zone and about 20 games centre. The adventure field in the park will include activities like paintball, laser tag, archery, rifle shooting, rock climbing, and bouldering. The place will also house ayurvedic cave resorts.