Garuda Stambha is a stone pillar topped by a stone image of Garuda, the half man – half eagle Vahana or vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The same pillar is called a Garuda Dhvaja when it is an imperial sign.
One of the earliest Garuda Stambha and Dhavaja belongs to the 2nd century BC and is found at Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. Heliodorus of Taxila, who was sent by Indo-Greek ruler Antialkidas to the court of King Bhagabhadra, erected it in honor of Bhagavan Srihari Vishnu.
Free standing pillars with garuda figure is an essential feature of temples dedicated to Vishnu or his avatars in India and Nepal.
A Garuda Stambha in a Vishnu temple is of same importance as Nandi in a Shiva Temple.