Once, when I went to our AcArya, He told us this story:
When Rama came to pa~NcavaTI for the first time, he met jaTAyu, a bird belonging to the gridhra species. On exchanging words, jaTAyu came to know that rAma was his friend dasharatha's son. He came to love the family very much, though he was unaware of their divine origin. And what is bhakti, but pure love? Pure love for someone who is dependent on us (say, a child who is dependent on its mother, or people who are dependent on their king) manifests itself as vAtsalya. Pure love for someone we consider higher than ourselves manifests itself as bhakti.
Coming back to the story. We all know that jaTAyu fought rAvaNa courageously to rescue sItA from him. However courageously jaTAyu fought, he was no match to rAvaNa. jaTAyu was severely wounded, and he fell to the ground. rAvaNa successfully kidnapped sItA.
After rAma and lakShmaNa returned from killing mArIca, they discovered that sIta was nowhere in the hut, and they started searching for Her. They met jaTAyu, who told them that sItA was abducted by a rAkShasa. jaTAyu died at the feet of rAma, and rAma gave him sadgati. Later, rAma found sItA with the help of vAnaras, and They were united.
We all know this much from the rAmAyaNa. There is another little-known story. At the place where jaTAyu died and obtained paramapadam, a small pArijAta tree sprang. It is on the shore of a lake named gridhrasaras, after jaTAyu. The following shloka is said about the lake and the pArijAta tree.
yatra tu~Ngairatu~Ggaishcha praNatairgR^ihyate phalam
ये जनाः संस्कृतं पठितुं शक्नुवन्ति, तेषां कृते संस्कृतेन एव लिखामि ।
यत्र तुङ्गैरतुङ्गैश्च प्रणतैर्गृह्यते फलम्॥
This place has been on my to-visit list for a very long time.