Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chadayamangalam - Here fell the great Jatayu

After all the mega serials on the television, almost everyone knows the story of Jatayu from Ramayana. For those who don't, I'll brief the story to give an idea.

Jatayu is the son of Aruna and nephew of Garuda who has the form of a vulture. When Ravana was on his way to Lanka on his flying chariot after abducting Sita, he encountered Jatayu. This noble souled bird could not bear to hear poor Sita's cry for help and got into a fight with the mighty Ravana. Ravana cut off Jatayu's wings and he collapsed.

Raja Ravi Varma's Painting

According to legend, Chadayamangalam, as it is called in the present day, was known as Jatayu mangalam in olden days was the place where Jatayu fell after losing to Ravana. It is believed that when Lord Shri Rama was on exile he passed through this place and met Jatayu who informed him about Sita's adduction and died.It is a beautiful place lying between Kilimanoor and Kottarakara in Kollam district of Kerala, India.

There is a small pond at the top of the hill in the shape of a bird's beak and it is believed to be where Jatayu fall down in the up hills. When he was thirsty, hit the rocks with its beak and hence this pond was formed. Though it is in peak of the hill, it never dries up even in summer.

A huge rock in this place is named after Jatayu as Jatayu Para (Jatayu Rock). Devotees of the village as well as from the neighboring villages come here and offer worship every day. Jadayu Para is well known as a tourist destination and a place of pilgrimage. Right on top the rock the building of a huge functional sculpture of the Great Bird Jatayu is under way. An 18ft high Statue of Lord Shri Rama Chandra is been constructed at the top of Jadayu Mountain.

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