This large bird-like creature or humanoid bird is called Garuda and appears in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s in a “NAMASTE” pose with its both hands together which is how greetings are done in much of southern Asia.
Garuda in Ancient Nepal was often used as an amulet to protect a person from snake attack and its poison. Garuda were also considered King of Birds among many other things. They were thought to be an enemy of snakes so was worshipped by people equal to other Gods. There is a Chant (Mantra) called “Garudi Vidya” which was chanted against snake bite to remove poison.
This sculpture was built all over the Kathmandu valley by Malla Kings however, this Garuda is a largest one in Kathmandu built in 17th century, located near Maju Deval Narayan Temple, built as a part of a palace’s surrounding to beautify it.
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