Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

Garuda (British Museum)

Garuda - British Museum - Joy of Museums


This gilt bronze statue depicts a Garuda as part bird, and part human with flaming hair that bears the symbols of the sun and moon. The Garuda is a legendary bird creature from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology. A Garuda is generally a protector with the power to swiftly go anywhere and is ever watchful against enemies. A Garuda is a part of state insignia in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.

This Garuda was acquired from Tibet where the main religion is Tibetan Buddhism which a form of the Buddhist doctrine named after the lands of Tibet but also found in the regions surrounding the Himalayas and much of Central Asia. In the Buddhist tradition, a Garuda is the golden-winged bird from Buddhist texts and can be found with either zoomorphic (animal form) or anthropomorphic (part bird, part human form) iconography.

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“A child without education is like a bird without wings.”
– Tibetan Proverb


Photo Credit: 1) JOM