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A statue depicting a wingless Karura, from Kofukuji Temple, Nara, Japan, 8th century CE.

The Karura (迦楼羅) is an enormous, fire-breathing creature from Japanese Hindu-Buddhist mythology. It has the body of a human and the face or beak of an eagle. It is based on the original Hindu mythical divinity Garuda;[1] and brought to Japan via Buddhism. Karura is a Japanese transliteration of the Sanskrit Garuḍa गरुड or the Pāli Garuḷa.

The Karura is said to be the enemy of snakes and dragons, just as Garuda is the enemy of the Nāgas. Only a dragon who possesses a Buddhist talisman, or one who has converted to the Buddhist teaching, can escape from the Karura.

The Karura is often mistaken for the Hōō (鳳凰), or Phoenix.

See also


  1. ^ Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Japan By Saroj Kumar Chaudhuri p.151