Gandabehrunda

Gandabehrunda

This two-headed eagle, Gandabehrunda, is a Vaishnavite symbol. It is said to be powerful enough to lift elephants with its claws.

There is a sectarian story behind Gandabehrunda. 

After killing Hiranyakasypu, Narasimha was uncontrollable. Sensing the danger Narasimha will pose to the universe, Gods approached Siva for help. He took the form of Sarabehswara to tame Narasimha and bring him under control. Now it is Vishnu’s turn to tame Sarabeshwara and to do that he took Gandabehrunda form. 

This site has an idol of Sarabeshwara. 

Here you see Gandabehrunda with two eagle face and a single human body.  Normally you will see Cobra at the top. But here given it is an eagle, the Cobra is at the bottom. The Sun and the Moon symbols denote the timeless nature of the deity. The Human figure, the bull and the symbol in between remain unexplained. 

This particular example is meant to be mounted on a pole and carried as a standard in a procession.

Historically Gandaberunda has been used in the official seals and as emblems by various Karnataka rulers from Chalukya dynasty till modern times. Karnataka state, in India,  uses Gandaberunda in its Coat of Arms. 

The idol is about 26.5 cm in height and it is from Karnataka.

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