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Brahminy Kite

Scientific NameHaliastur indus
Common NameBrahminy kite, Brahmani Cheel (Hindi), Krishna parunthu (Tamil), Khemankari (Sanskrit)
DistributionPlains and forests of India
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (LC)
Lord Vishnu on Garuda, his vahana

In religion and mythology

Garuda, the celestial carrier or vahana of Lord Vishnu and his consort, Goddess Lakshmi, is a swift-flying Brahminy kite. In Hindu mythology, he is often referred to as the ‘king of birds’. He has been give the status of a deity by the religious scriptures and hence, is worshipped. In most Vishnu temples, there is a separate shrine for Garuda, also known as Garudalwar. Garuda is also the symbol on Lord Vishnu’s flag. (Garuda dwaja).

Garuda in Buddhist’s mythology

In Buddhists mythology and scriptures, Garuda belongs to a race of divine creatures who are known for their hatred for the Nagas or the serpents. In Buddhists scriptures, Lord Buddha is shown making temporary peace between the Nagas and Garuda.

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