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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ganduberunda-mythological bird of mysore wodeyars

'Ganduberunda' is a mythical bird that is the royal emblem of the royal family of Mysore, the wodeyars. Later on after independence the government of Karnataka has taken up the same symbol as the emblem for state government. The bird which was present in the flag of the erstwhile kingdom og Mysore is known to be a very very strong bird capable of lifting even elephants. The uniqueness of the bird is that it has two heads with a single body.The bird can be found in many carvings in temples and even in the palace. I hope to put up a picture of the same along with the legend behind it in a separate post. The emblem is also present on the KSRTC bus service. This is a state run bus service and has the bird as its logo. The picutre of the bird can be found in the tickets issued by the bus service. The bird is shrouded in mystery due to its mythical and magical prowess. The bird is also known by other names such as 'Gandaberunda' or 'Gunda Berunda' just 'Berunda'. Some claim that the bird is an eagle which had two heads. The bird is supposed to have been visible only to the maharaja of mysore. Later during the British rule, the symbol was used as part of a badge with the motto 'i will defend the right'. Many such gifts were given to the RAF during the world war. You can find details at

I am reminded of the folk-story of a two headed bird.The two headed bird was living in a forest.One of the head comes across a very sweet and juicy fruit, but instead of sharing it with the other head it eats it up alone. The other head overcome by jealosy, goes in search of a poisonous fruit and eats it up. The two headed bird then dies of the poison. Well the moral of the story is 'think before you act'. The action of the bird in its jealous rage got it killed. Mostly this is a story from the panchatantra or some subashita.


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