05) Double headed Garuda

There are striking similarities between the Indian and Sumerian civilizations. One of them is the use of the Double Headed Eagle as a royal symbol. From 3800 BC until today this mythical bird is used as a symbol of royalty. Russia and other Eastern European countries use it on their currency notes and national flags. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh praise the mighty strength of this bird in coins, sculptures and literature. The Panchatantra used the story of double headed bird, also known as Ganda Berunda bird, to emphasize unity. Ancient Cankam (Sangam) Tamil literature used this bird in their love poetry. Devotional poets of India like Ekanath also used this bird as a simile.

Sumerians considered this bird the symbol of God Ninurta of Lagash. They thought it had divine power. We can trace the history of this mythical bird from the Sumerian days. A cylindrical seal shows the double headed eagle from 3800 BC. Later, the Hittite empire which had its capital in Bogazkoy (in Modern Turkey) used it in several monuments. Even today we can see the monuments displaying this symbol in huge sculptures in Hattusa and Yazilikaya. Bogazkoy was the place where a tablet with the names of the Vedic Gods: Indra, Mitra, Nasatya and Varuna was discovered. The tablet was dated 1380 BC. This establishes the Indian connection of the region.

Even the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire used this symbol. This Hindu symbol was used by the Christians.