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Garuda is a term that has different meanings in various contexts. In Hindu mythology, Garuda is a bird-like creature that serves as the mount of Lord Vishnu. In Indonesian culture, Garuda is the national emblem and symbolizes the country’s identity. Furthermore, Garuda is also the name of the national airline of Indonesia.

According to Hindu mythology, Garuda is a divine creature who is half-man and half-bird. He is depicted as having the body of a man with wings and talons of an eagle. Garuda is considered to be the king of birds and is revered as a symbol of power, strength, and loyalty.

In Indonesian culture, Garuda is a symbol of the country’s national identity and is featured on the national emblem, currency, and government documents. The emblem depicts Garuda with his wings spread wide and his talons gripping a shield and a scroll. Garuda is also the name of the national airline of Indonesia, which was founded in 1949 and has since become one of the leading airlines in Southeast Asia.

Mythological Origins

Garuda is a legendary bird-like creature from Hindu mythology. This divine creature is primarily depicted as the mount (vahana) of the Hindu god Vishnu, and is revered in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain faiths. The origins of Garuda can be traced back to the ancient Hindu texts, where he is described as a powerful and majestic bird.

Hindu Texts

In Hindu mythology, Garuda is mentioned in the Rigveda as a bird that carries the ambrosial soma plant from heaven to earth. He is also described in the Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskrit epic, as the second son of Vinata and is born immense and powerful. Garuda’s mother is tricked into being a slave to her sister Kadru and Kadru’s offspring, the snake nagas.

Vedic References

Garuda is also mentioned in Vedic references, where the sun is compared to a bird in its flight across the sky. Garuda’s bird-like form is believed to represent birth and heaven, and he is often depicted as a fierce warrior who fights against evil forces.

Garuda Purana

The Garuda Purana is a Hindu religious text that describes the life and teachings of Garuda. It is believed to have been written by sage Veda Vyasa, and contains detailed descriptions of Garuda’s exploits and adventures. The text also provides guidance on various aspects of Hindu life, including death and the afterlife.

Overall, Garuda’s mythological origins are deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and Vedic references. His story is one of power, strength, and bravery, and he continues to be revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike.


Garuda is a mythical bird-like creature that has been depicted in various forms of art throughout history. This section will explore the different depictions of Garuda in art and the symbols and attributes associated with this creature.

Depictions in Art

Garuda is often depicted in Hindu and Buddhist art as a large bird with a human-like face and arms. He is usually shown with his wings spread open, ready to take flight. In some depictions, Garuda is shown carrying a snake in his beak or talons, which symbolizes his ability to conquer evil.

Garuda is also depicted in various poses and postures in art. For example, in some depictions, he is shown standing on one foot, while in others, he is shown sitting on a lotus flower. In some depictions, Garuda is also shown with multiple heads or arms, which symbolize his power and strength.

Symbols and Attributes

Garuda is associated with several symbols and attributes in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. One of the most common symbols associated with Garuda is the serpent, which represents evil. Garuda is often shown holding a serpent in his talons or beak, symbolizing his ability to conquer evil.

Garuda is also associated with the sun, which is often depicted behind him in art. This symbolizes his ability to bring light and knowledge to the world. In some depictions, Garuda is also shown with a crown or halo around his head, which symbolizes his divinity.

Overall, Garuda is a complex and multifaceted creature that has been depicted in various forms of art throughout history. His depictions in art and associated symbols and attributes have evolved over time, but he remains an important figure in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

Cultural Significance

Role in Rituals

Garuda plays an important role in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. In Hindu mythology, Garuda is the mount of Lord Vishnu, the god of protection and preservation. During Hindu festivals and ceremonies, Garuda is worshipped as a symbol of power and strength. In Bali, Indonesia, Garuda is also worshipped as a symbol of protection against evil spirits.

Influence in Southeast Asia

Garuda is widely recognized as a national symbol of Indonesia and Thailand. In Indonesia, Garuda is depicted on the national emblem and is also the name of the national airline. In Thailand, Garuda is featured on the emblem of the Royal Thai Air Force. The Garuda statue in Bangkok, Thailand is also a popular tourist attraction.

Modern Depictions

Garuda has been depicted in various forms of media, including movies, TV shows, and video games. In the popular game Dota 2, Garuda is a playable hero character with a unique set of abilities. Garuda has also been featured in several films, including the Indonesian movie “Garuda di Dadaku” and the Thai movie “Garuda”. In modern times, Garuda is often depicted as a symbol of strength, power, and heroism.

Garuda in Nature

Garuda is a mythical bird creature that plays an important role in Hinduism and Buddhism. But did you know that there are real-life birds that resemble Garuda in appearance?

Javan Hawk-Eagle

One such bird is the Javan Hawk-Eagle, also known as the Javanese Hawk-Eagle. This bird of prey is native to Java, Indonesia, and is considered to be critically endangered. The Javan Hawk-Eagle has a distinctive appearance, with a black head and crest, brown back and wings, and white underparts. Its wingspan can reach up to 150 cm, making it an impressive sight to behold.

National Emblems

Garuda is also a popular symbol used in national emblems. In Indonesia, the Garuda is the national emblem and is depicted as a large mythical bird with an eagle’s beak and wings, human-like arms and legs, and a crown on its head. The emblem is often used on official documents, currency, and government buildings.

Similarly, in Thailand, the Garuda is also an important symbol and is depicted as a creature with a human torso and an eagle’s wings, beak, and talons. It is the national emblem of Thailand and can be seen on the country’s flag and official seals.

Overall, while Garuda may be a mythical creature, it is clear that its influence extends beyond mythology and into the natural world and national symbolism.

Garuda in Aviation

Garuda is an airline that has been around for over 70 years and has established itself as a major player in the aviation industry. The airline is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and operates flights to over 90 destinations across the globe.

Airline Branding

Garuda has a distinctive logo that is easily recognizable and has become synonymous with the airline. The logo features a mythical bird with sharp talons and a beak, which is said to represent strength and power. The airline’s branding is also reflected in the design of its aircraft, which are painted in a distinctive blue and white livery with the Garuda logo prominently displayed on the tail.

Military Insignia

Garuda is also known for its military insignia, which is based on the same mythical bird that appears in the airline’s logo. The Garuda is the national emblem of Indonesia and is often used in military insignia. Garuda’s military insignia is a symbol of the airline’s close ties to the Indonesian military, which has played a significant role in the airline’s history.

In conclusion, Garuda has established itself as a respected player in the aviation industry, with a strong brand and a rich history. The airline’s distinctive logo and military insignia are just a few examples of the ways in which Garuda has become an iconic symbol of Indonesia.