The idyllic setting of Kerala, India, offers incredible views of nature, which one never tires of admiring. The result of a collaboration between the country’s tourism department and the sculptor Rajiv Anchal, the natural park has been open since the end of 2017. And it recently hosted the Jatayu Earth’s Center, which is none other than the largest bird sculpture of the world.
The bird, also named Jatayu, has absolutely incredible dimensions, they are so big. It is 60 meters long, 45 meters wide and almost 22 meters high. The sculpturefeatures meticulous detailing you wouldn’t expect on such a scale, including individually decorated and layered feathers that look almost real. The wings, which are particularly impressive, spread out on the ground, allowing visitors to walk on the figure and climb on its talons as well as on its head. The curious also have the possibility of penetrating inside the animal. The bird’s body also serves as the roof for the Jatayu Earth’s Center building, making this work of art functional as well as artistic. It’s no surprise that this incredible structure took Anchal and his team ten years to complete.
As well as being a marvelous feat of design and architecture, this massive sculpture is set in an important context. Jatayu is a symbolic figure in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Known as a “noble bird of divine origin”, legend has it that he attempted to save Sita, the wife of the famous Lord Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu and Krishna). Sita was being abducted by the demon king Ravana, and Jatayu came to her defense. This story is very famous in India and its characters are well known.
After fighting with Ravana, the king cut off Jatayu’s left wing and fled with Sita. The Jatayu Earth’s Center has decided to pay tribute to this noble character’s dedication to the safety of women and to honor him with this gigantic statue. The sculpture also symbolizes a “bygone era when humans, animals, and other living forms cared for each other and other beings lived peacefully on this Earth.”