Although India is known for its rich fauna, which includes thousands of different species of mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians, only five animals are revered here. This can be explained by the religious beliefs of the Hindus, who sacredly honor their centuries-old traditions.
India’s Most Revered Sacred Animals
As many people know, the most revered animal in India is the cow, as it is considered a symbol of abundance, holiness and purity. Hindus often compare it to Mother Earth, who also selflessly gives her goods to people. In addition, just like many centuries ago, cows play an important role in Indian people’s lives, giving them milk and dairy products, which are the basis of vegetarianism.
That is why cows walk freely on the streets and even on the roadway. You can often see a traffic jam forming on the road, as the sacred animal has decided to lie down and rest. Moreover, intentionally or unintentionally hitting a cow is severely punished: in this case the culprit faces a serious fine or even imprisonment.
The Indian elephant can be considered a symbol of the country. These animals have long been revered here for two reasons:
- according to ancient beliefs, the world rests on 4 elephants;
- one of the most respected gods of Hinduism, Ganesha, had the head of an elephant.
Although these animals give people a lot of trouble with their behavior, they are highly revered. Monkeys play an important role in Indian and Chinese epics. In them, they often served as a vessel for divine entities that helped and protected people.
Not all sacred animals in India are cute and harmless. Cobras in this country are especially respected, that is why they can move freely and even crawl into houses. This usually happens during the rainy season, when their burrows are flooded with water.
There is no other place in the world where rats feel so free. The reason for this is that in ancient India they were sacred animals. Even now, the Indians do not chase away rats, but worship them. That is why they feel and behave accordingly: they calmly walk wherever they want, bask in the sun and even crawl onto people’s laps to be fed and stroked.
These are the 5 sacred animals of India. And when visiting this country, it is extremely important to remember how to treat them, otherwise it is quite possible to get into trouble with local legislation.