The bird is the Gandaberunda, which has a deep historical link to the Mysuru kingdom.

The pride of Mysuru History behind the two-headed bird on Bengaluru FCs logoYouTube
news Football Monday, May 07, 2018 - 17:34

If you are an avid fan of the Indian Super League team Bengaluru FC and follow them closely, you might have wondered what their logo depicts. The team’s crest has a two-headed bird on it, and it has an interesting history to it.

The bird is the Gandaberunda, which has a deep historical link to the Mysuru kingdom as told by the Deccan Herald. In Hindu mythology, the bird can be traced back all the way to the Vijayanagara empire and was later chosen as the insignia of the Mysuru kingdom. The bird has since become synonymous with the royal history of Mysuru. It is also the official emblem of the Karnataka State Government.

According to Hindu mythology, the two-headed bird is said to possess immense magical strength and is seen in numerous temple sculptures all over the country. When the mythological Lord Vishnu assumed the avatar of Narasimha to defeat Hiranyakashyapu, Vishnu’s avatar showed such strength and power that it was said to have created a fear of total destruction among the gods. The gods had no choice but to seek the help of Lord Shiva, who assumed the avatar of Sharabha, which angered Narasimha even more. This led him to turn into the two-headed bird – the Gandaberunda.

Till date Gandaberunda is a symbol of great power and welfare of people. The symbol of the empowering mythical bird can be seen as the emblem used by several rulers for their kingdoms. The first instance can be traced back to the Vijayanagara empire where it was used in the mints to make coins and since then has been used by many others.

Gandaberunda was made an emblem during the reign of the first King of Mysore, Yaduraya. Historian Professor P V Nanjaraje, who has widely researched Mysore state, says, "The Gandaberunda was first used as a sign on coins in Vijayanagara mints, many of which still exist. Since then, the tradition passed on to generations. In the mid-16th century, legend says that Yaduraya embarked on a Vijaya Yathra across the Mysore State to consolidate their rank. During the Yathra, an ascetic encountered and gave him a red cloth. The King offered pooja to it and accepted it as a blessing. He won all acclaim thereafter."

The red cloth given to Yaduraya was then presented to his public as the Rajdhawaja or State Flag. He then added a slogan known as “Sathymevodhbhavaramyaham” along with an image of the mythical bird to add the principles of dharma and sathya to the flag.

After India attained independence, the state of Mysore continued to use the flag as its state emblem. When the state became a part of the state of Karnataka, the Gandaberunda became Karnataka’s official state emblem.

An article by Star of Mysore states that kingdoms such as the Chalukyan, Hoysalas, Keladi Nayakas, the Kadambas and the Wadiyars used the emblem in crests and seals. It is said that Vijayanagar king Achyuta Deva Raya was perhaps the first to use the Gandaberunda image on gold pagodas.

Usually, the Gandaberunda is shown to be carrying elephants on its talons and beaks to highlight its strength but, it’s not shown as such on the Bengaluru FC emblem.

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