Hinduism is the only religion in which various animals are closely related to God, and some are worshipped as one of them. In Hinduism, it is said that when Brahma created the animals, he hid a specific secret in each of them to signify their spiritual importance to humans.Hindus regard all living- creatures as sacred—mammals, fishes, birds and more. We acknowledge this reverence for life in our special affection for the cow. Nepal and India, being Hindu majority countries, worships different animals and some are mentioned here.
In Hindu mythology, there is a story in which Lord Shiva beheads his own son, Ganesh, without knowing about that the boy is his son. After Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, pleads to Shiva, he orders his troops to bring the head of whoever living beings they eye first. Then the troops find an elephant and bring the head of the animal. Then, Lord Shiva attaches the head to the body of a boy. Since then, the elephant is treated as Lord Ganesh.
It is the national animal of Former Hindu Kingdom, Nepal. The Hindus worship cow as the goddess and symbolises motherhood, kindness and forbearance. Thus killing and eating the cow is strictly prohibited in Hinduism. The cow milk is considered pure and used for bathing the deities, making panchamrit and various rituals. Even the urine and dungs are considered to be pure and are used in various rituals. Lord Shiva is called from another name, Gorakhnath, which means God of Cows.
It has a special significance in Hindu religion; Lord Shiva is also known to be Vrishabanath meaning Lord of bulls. Nandi, the divine bull, is considered to be his vehicle and we can see a huge statue of the bull in Pashupatinath. The bull is considered to represent knowledge, scholarship, devotion, surrender, renunciation, obedience, strength and virility.
It is the most famous among the animals Hindu worship. The monkey God is named as Hanuman, the son of God Pawan(air). He is the God with unlimited power and pictured as true devotee of God Ram. His is well described in Hindu epic, Ramayana. He is considered as the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. This incarnation shows the perfect example of immense strength, courage, humility and highest devotion.
This animal is considered as the best friend of humans but they do have a religious significance. In the festival of Tihar dog is worshipped in Nepal, they are believed to guard the doors of hell and heaven. Sarama is considered as the mother of all dogs. It is also worshipped as the vahan (vehicle) of Bhiarab.
In the Hinduism, Lord Shiva wears a Nag “Indian Cobra” around his neck as an ornament. Cobra is the most sacred among the entire snake in India-Nepal. There is a special festival of snakes called Nag Panchami, celebrated by Hindus in India, Nepal and many other countries. People offer prayer, Milk and worship the snake. In south India, live snakes are worshipped.