If we deeply look in to the history of Mysuru Kingdom, we can find a special place for ‘Gandaberunda’ which is the royal insignia of Mysore dynasty. When we dig into the pedigree of the Gandaberunda, we come across many exciting stories. Starting from Hindu mythology, it can be traced to Vijayanagar empire and can be found how it was adopted as the royal insignia of Mysuru dynasty and how it was later made as the official emblem of the state government.
Here are some fascinating informations on the majestic bird Gandaberunda which has been synonymous with Mysuru, which has a royal history.
Gandaberunda is an imaginary bird and a regal mythical creature in the Hindu mythology. This two-headed bird is said to possess magical strength and can be seen sculpted in many temples across the country. It is recorded in mythology that when Lord Vishnu assumed the Narasimha avatar to kill Hiranyakashipu, it became so powerful and created fear among gods of total destruction all around. When everyone went to Lord Shiva and asked for help, Shiva assumed Sharabha form and controlled Narasimha. The story continues where lord Vishnu later transformed himself in to Gandaberunda to face Sharabha and became a sign of immense power.
Even today Gandaberunda represents shakti and welfare of the people. Later on the symbol of this majestic mythical bird was adopted as an emblem by several rulers which can be traced back to the rulers of vijaynagar. It was used in the crests of many dynasties and kingdoms. If we start researching on the connection of the Gandaberunda and the Mysuru royal family we would find that that Gandaberunda was made as the emblem during the period of first king of Mysore Yaduraya. History states that when Yaduraya went on the journey of victory across the Mysore region; he was offered a piece of red cloth when he encountered an ascetic. He received the cloth and offered prayers. It started to give him all acclaim thereafter. He then announced it as the Rajadhwaja of the dynasty and to add the principles of dharma and truth, King Yaduraya gave a slogan Sathymevodhbhavaramyaham along with an image of the imaginary bird Gandaberunda in the flag. This in turn became the insignia of Mysuru royal family.
Even today we can see the Royal Insignia of Mysuru dynasty in all heritage buildings and monuments in the city including DC office, Lalithmahala Palace, Mysuru Court complex, Seethavilas Sannidhana and in many other prominent places.
In the year 2010 when Mysuru Dasara celebrated its 400th year, the royal Insignia Gandaberunda too celebrated its 500th year and to commemorate this 10 feet flower display of the majestic bird was displayed in the Mysuru Dasara Flower show.
Adoption of Gandaberunda:
Gandaberundas are found in various places of the state. It is found on the roof of the Rameshwara temple in the historical Keladi town in Shivamogga. The state government adopted the Gandaberunda symbol as the state symbol and it can even be found on bus tickets issued by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
The logo of the University of Mysore is also an adoption and is comparable to the Coat of Arms of the Royal family of Mysore. We can even found the Gandaberunda adoption in the Bengaluru Football Club which has used Gandaberunda in its club crest. Recently a modified logo of the Gandaberunda was also used in the Bengaluru International Film Festival.
Love for Gandaberunda pendants:
Even today there has been a tremendous demand for the vintage Gandaberunda pendants all across the state. Royal families prefer to wear silver or gold Gandaberunda pendants and many master craftsmen make exquisite silver and gold Gandaberunda pendants for the royal families.
Gandaberunda has a special place and play a significant role during the historical Dasara celebration and are seen flying high during events conducted by the royal family. Gandaberunda is no doubt is a pride of Mysuru.