THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Some things are just better viewed from above. The Jatayupara Nature Park, the state’s first BOT-model ecotourism project at Chadayamangalam, is one landscape that simply demands a bird’s eye view. And, the Jatayu Earth’s Center is all set to provide the same by organising exclusive chopper rides for tourists.
From this Friday, the hillock will reverberate with the sound of whirring blades as the organisers have brought a chopper to the tourist station to provide heli-services to the tourists.
While the second phase of Jatayu Earth’s centre will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday, the helicopter service will be inaugurated by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.
The heart-stopping and jaw-dropping ride will also thrill adrenaline junkies and avid shutterbugs as it offers unobstructed shots of the hillock.
The dream project of Rajiv Anchal, sculptor and filmmaker, this also becomes the first tourist spot in Kerala to offer helicopter service. The idea, an accidental decision, is unique in a way as no other tourism centre in Kerala has a helicopter. Way back in 2012, Captain Unnikrishnan, a retired captain from Indian Air Force, convinced Rajiv Anchal that a helicopter ride is possible by flying the chopper over the Jatayupara.
“At present, there is one chopper for tourist sight-seeing. The seating capacity will be seven, including the pilot. The ride lasts for eight to ten minutes. The tourists can have the experience for just Rs 3,299. The service is operated by Chipsan Aviation Pvt Ltd and retired Air Force Col Shailesh Kumar Singh will fly the chopper,” said Rajiv Anchal.
The Jatayu Earth’s Centre plans to extend the local flying to other tourism destinations as well. Apart from tourism, in times of contingencies like a medical emergency, JEC will stand with the government to give necessary helicopter aid.
The Jatayu Earth’s Centre has also installed a proficient cable car system. Sixteen cable cars have been imported from Switzerland. It took one-and-half months’ time for the transportation of cable car cargo from Switzerland to Cochin. It was later road transported to Chadayamangalam via trailers. Around 200 people of various capacities were involved at different stages in the installation of the cable car. The total cost is Rs 40 crores. The tourists can take to and fro ride in the cable car for just Rs 400.
The eco-tourism project
The Rs 100-crore project, built in public-private partnership, is the first of its kind in myriad ways with world’s largest bird sculpture, helicopter local flying service, cable car system and adventure park etc
Around 130 NRIs have invested at the new business model of the Kerala Tourism
Entry to the tourist destination is via online booking