Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023




Scientific name


Bos indicus 


Common name





 Pashu, Gau



Throughout India

Religious Association


The cow occupies a special place in Hindu culture. She symbolizes dharma, the Law of Righteousness. The references to the sanctity of the cow in Vedic Literature are endless. According to Puranic mythology cow is even addressed as the mother of the gods and Brahma declares that she should be worshipped. Kamadhenu, the wish-fulfilling celestial cow, is said to be the mother of all gods, and can grant any wish to the true seeker. The cow is most commonly associated with Lord Krishna, who is usually depicted as a cowherd.


 In the Zend-Avesta, the sacred book of the Zoroastrians, the geuvarsan or goshuran is the Soul of the Cow, a divine being.



Source: “Sacred Animals Of India” by  Nanditha Krishna,  (Penguin Book India, 2010)