Those who have longed to put on their hiking boots, keep it dust free, as you have the exact destination to use them. Situated 1000 ft above sea level, covering an area of around 60 acres, stands the upright huge cluster of ‘Jatayu Rocks’. Travelling 50 kms from Thiruvanathapuram on MC Road, one would reach the foothills of the rock within an hour.
Reaching the Jatayu junction, you see a green signboard of Jatayu rocks to the left, pointing towards an uphill country road. As you walk the unpaved road with rubber trees on both sides, you begin to feel the cool breeze.
To the left you see a gate leading to a newly constructed building built for the ongoing eco-tourism project. The surroundings are well maintained with palms and lawn, which are timely pruned. From then on the climb begins. Behind the office building you will find an unfinished road. After a few minutes of walk, you begin to see small rocks scattered along shrubs and ferns. Moving forward you notice that you are lost amidst the rubber plantations on one side and rocks on the other.
Finally you reach a flat rocky surface, and the view from there is magnificent. You can see far off paddy fields, lush green coconut groves and mushroom like houses. You can also faintly hear the vehicles honking on MC road. Treading further to a higher level, you see medicinal plants, rare flowers found only in forests like the one which looks like a cock’s tail. It is just the chirping of birds and rustling of the trees that you hear while walking.
You are lucky if you get to watch the funny gestures of a family which has been there for years - a group of monkeys right from old ones to babies who cling tightly to their mothers. Busy killing lice they are glad if treated with some plantains or nuts.
Very soon you get a view of the massive cluster Jatayu rocks. Fagged out climbers can halt for a while at one of the cave like openings, a breezy spot to relax. The cave with its small openings blows in fresh air and the ambience within is so perfect for a meditation.
Once you reach the top, there is an idol of Lord Rama often visited by devotees. Near the rock there is a scratch which eventually pierces the rock, transforming it into a pond which never dries even in hot summers. Beside it, there is a marking on the rock believed to be the footprint of Lord Rama.
Sitting on the peak watching the sunset would be a good idea. It is safer to get back before it’s pitch dark. The way down the rocks would be easier if you let yourself down the slopes.