The Brahminy Kite (Haliastur Indus), a common raptor in tropical Asia, plays an important in Indian culture and Hindu mythology. The Brahminy Kite is a symbol for swift action and efficiency, it is venerated as a guardian against the occurrence of misfortune.
Vishnu’s mount, the sunbird Garuda, is considered to be a representation of as a Brahminy Kite. In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Garuda is the eagle king fighting the serpent king Naga. Garuda is also a well-known mythical bird in Buddhism, particularly in the mythology of Southeast Asia, where it is often depicted on wall carvings and other decorations. It is part of the National Emblem of Thailand. Known as Elang Bondol in Indonesia, it is the official mascot of Jakarta, “Garuda” being the name of the Indonesian Airlines. The Malaysian island of Langkawi is named after the Brahminy Kite. Known as Khangarid, the Garuda is even the symbol of the capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bator.
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