In the Indian epic Ramayana, Jatayu (Sanskrit: जटायुः Jatāyu, Telugu: Jatayuvu, Tamil: Chatayu, Thai: Sadayu, Malay: Jentayu or Chentayu, Indonesian: Burung Jatayu meaning "Jatayu bird") is the youngest son of Aruna. His brother, Sampaati, is a demi-god who has the form of a Vulture and was an old friend of Dasharatha (Rama's father). When Jatayu sees Ravana abducting Sita, he tries to rescue Sita from Ravana . Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana, but as he was very old Ravana soon got the better of him. As Rama and Lakshmana chanced upon the stricken and dying Jatayu in their search for Sita, he informs them of the fight between him and Ravana and tells them that he had gone south.
Jatayu and his brother Sampaati, when young, used to compete as to who could fly higher. On one such instance Jatayu flew so high that he was about to get seared by the sun's flames. Sampati saved his brother by spreading his own wings and thus shielding Jatayu from the hot flames. In the process, Sampati himself got injured and lost his wings. As a result, Sampati lived wingless for the rest of his life.
While Jatayu was wounded and lying on the ground when Lord Rama arrived, Lord Rama sensed the end result and decided that Jatayu get moksha. Lord Rama then slammed an arrow into the ground so as to call all seven sacred rivers, called teertha. Six rivers' waters arrived, one river water failing to obey Lord Rama's call. Since Lord Rama was himself an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, He forced the Gaya teertha to arrive at the spot.
According to the legend, it is believed that Jatayu fell on the rocks in Chadayamangalam, 38km from Kollam district of Kerala, India after his wings were chopped off by Ravana. Formerly, the place was called Jatayumangalam. This is the place which is mostly credited to the falling place of Jatayu since rocks there holds stricking carvings of Jatayu's beak mark during his last breath and footprints of Lord Rama. Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh, India is also attributed to the place where Jatayu fell after being wounded by Ravana, and Ramarkal Mettu is the place where the last rites were performed. Rama is said to have commanded the bird to rise Le Pakshi, hence the name for that town.
Jatayu Nature Park
Jatayu Nature Park is a park and tourism centre under construction at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala. Designed by Rajiv Anchal, This rock-theme nature park is about 38 km (24 mi) away from Kollam city and 28 km (17 mi) away from Paravur. It is the first PPP tourism initiative in the state of Kerala under the BOT model. When open, Jatayu Nature Park will hold the distinction of having the world’s largest bird sculpture (200 feet (61 m) long, 150 feet (46 m) broad, 70 feet (21 m) in height and having 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of floor area) of the great mythical bird Jatayu.
- Lepakshi Temple - Lepakshi :: The Treasure House of Art and Sculpture
- "Kerala’s rock-theme Jatayu Park getting ready to woo visitors - Indiatoday.in". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola
- Ramayana (ISBN 0-89744-930-4) by C. Rajagopalachari