Jatayu

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In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu (Sanskrit: जटायू Jatāyū, Tamil: Chatayu, Thai: Sadayu, Malay: Jentayu or Chentayu) is the son of Aruṇa and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of a vulture, he was an old friend of Dasharatha (Rama's father). He tries to rescue Sita from Ravana when Ravana is on his way to Lanka after kidnapping Sita. Jatayu fought valiantly with Ravana, but as Jatayu 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 the direction in which Ravana had gone (i.e., south).

Jatayu and his brother Sampati, 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.

The place where Lord Rama found the dying Jatayu was named JatayuMangalam (now known as Chadayamangalam) and is in the Kollam district of Kerala. A huge rock in this place is named after Jatayu, JatayuPara, and is a tourist attraction. Another claim to this spot where a wounded Jatayu was found by Lord Rama is on the outskirts of the Taaked village in Nashik District in the state of Maharashtra. While Jataayu was wounded and...
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