Statue depicting the god Vishnu riding on the back of Garuda.
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Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Garuda is an ancient Indian mythological creature, believed to be a devourer of
serpents and the king of the birds. His body was half man and half eagle. In Hindu
mythology, he is often depicted flying across the sky carrying the supreme god Vishnu
and his wife Lakshmi.
In some Hindu stories it is said to represent the Sun's rays. His
father was one of the seven great sages, the Rishis. It is told that Garuda stole the water of life from Indra. In the battle to get it back, Indra had his thunderbolt broken by the flying creature.
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