Garuda, as defined by Office of the Royal Society, is the mythical king of birds and the vehicle or mount of Lord Vishnu (Narayana). The Garuda is also adopted as the national emblem of Thailand and official seal of the Thai government. The account of Garuda's birth appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies.
Evidences of Garuda in Thailand Garuda is known in Thailand by the influence of Indian cultures, particularly Brahmanism-Hinduism influence which represents the belief that Garuda is considered to be a divine vahana and used as a symbol of Lord Vishnu. Evidences of Garuda have been found since at least the Dvaravati period. For example, a terracotta seal embossed with an image of Garuda was found in the city of Chan Sen, Nakhon Sawan Province. Moreover, the terracotta seal with religious images and inscription was found in the city of U Thong, Suphan Buri Province. It was embossed with images of a trident, a hump cow and a standing garuda with outspread wings, including a line of inscribed Palawa letters at the bottom which mean Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
Thus, Garuda has been known and depicted as a symbol of Lord Vishnu since the 7th century CE. Other evidences were also discovered in Dvaravati Town, Central Thailand. Most of them were sculptures and stuccos used to decorate religious places such as terracotta sculptures of Garuda found at an archaeological site 40, Khu Bua Ancient Town, Ratchaburi Province, stucco of Garuda found at site 3, Khok Mai Den (Mueang Bon), Nakhon Sawan Province. These sites contained Buddhist stupas, that meant images of Garuda were used to decorate Buddhist buildings in accordance with Theravada and Mahayana traditions. There are at least two stone plates appeared at the sites engraved with images of Buddha standing on the head of Garuda and his each hand holding a lotus to support Bodhisattva.
It is assumed that this depiction is for worship related to Mahayana cult, especially images of carved Garuda similar to others found at Si Maha Pot in Prachin Buri Province and Wat Maha That in Ratchaburi Province. Garuda seen in early Dvaravati art had a human face with leg, wings and talons of a bird. Later, Garuda that had a bird’s face was found.