Unheard Story of a Great Bird and a Devotee of Lord Rama – Jatayu

The story of glorious bird Jatayu and places related to him

Places related to Jatayu:



It is believed to be known as that Jatayu after having a fierce fight with the Demon King Ravana, fell over the mountain ranges of the Chadayamangalam, 38km from Kollam district of Kerala, West-east India after his wings were chopped off .This place is also called as Jatayumangalam. This is the place where Jatayu feel, since rocks there holds stricking carvings of Jatayu’s beak mark during his last breath and footprints of Lord Rama.

Jatayu Nature Park is a park and tourism centre which is under construction at Chadayamangalam . This rock-theme nature park is about 38 km (24 mi) away from Kollam city and 28 km (17 mi) away from Paravur. 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 in Andhra Pradesh, South India is also known as the place where Jatayu fell after being wounded by Ravana, and Ramarkal Mettu is the place where the last ritesof Jatayu was performed. Rama is said to have commanded the bird to rise as “Le Pakshi”(You Bird), and hence the name for that town as Lepakshi.

jatayu - kolladevi

Koladevi Temple , Mulbagal, Karnataka

During the Treta Yug ( Second Era) , on seeing The Demon King Ravan , kidnapping Sita in this Pushpak Viman, the King of Birds Jatayu, tried to save Mother Sita. The Great Bird Jatayu initially advised Ravana of his misconduct and his deeds, but he did not pay any heed to Jatayu’s words, hence followed a fierce battle in the air, where Jatayu lost his wings and fell down to the ground writhing with pain and crying Lord Ram’s name. When Lord Ram learnt about Sita’s abduction he went searching for and came upon Jatayu, who was lying in a pool of blood. Jatayu guided about Sita’s whereabouts. And after Jatayu breath his last, Lord Ram performed the last rituals due to the great bird. The Villagers of Koladevi believe that this happened in their very village.

The legend reveals Garuda’s keen desire to serve Lord Vishnu just as Hanuman did. The Lord granted Garuda’s wish in the Dwapara Yuga during the period of the Mahabharata. When the Pandava king Arjuna once went on a hunting expedition, the force of his arrow set the forest ablaze. This resulted in the death of several thousands of serpents that inhabited the forest.

As a consequence, Arjuna was affected with, and suffered from sarpa dosh( Snake Curse). Upon the advice of great sages, he worshipped Garuda and performed puja to free himself of the sarpa dosh. Garuda appeared before him and upon Vishnu’s suggestion, agreed to bless Arjuna. He agreed on one condition: Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi should rest on his shoulders as Ram and Sita. Vishnu granted his wish too. Thus, both Garuda and Arjuna were blessed. Since then daily puja is performed at the temple. There is a strong belief that one who worships Garuda here will have the wish fulfilled and that those suffering from any malady would be healed by visiting his temple at Koladevi.

The unique feature of the Garuda idol here is that he is seen carrying Vishnu with bow and arrow and his consort Lakshmi, on his right and left shoulders respectively. Further, the two deities do not rest directly on his shoulders. They are placed on a small pedestal which in turn is placed on the shoulders of Garuda.

To the left of the main sanctum is a shrine dedicated to Hanuman with his tail curving towards the top of his head, and the brahmaasthra tied to his hip. Whereas Garuda, the main deity, and Lord Vishnu, have their eyes turned in the direction of Hanuman, it is Goddess Maha Lakshmi who is looking at her devotees. Special pujas are conducted on Amavasya and Pournami days at the temple.
To arrive at the temple in Koladevi village in Mulbagal district one has to travel on NH 4 till Mulbagal. Then take the road to Srinivasapura and continue for about 18 km up to Mudiyanur. From Mudiyanur take a right turn and drive down 4 km to reach Koladevi.

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