Nandi is the divine white bull who is the vehicle of SHIVA. He is the son of Kashyapa, a well-known RISHI (sage), and Surabhi (the wish-giving cow). In his form as Nandikeshvara, represented as a human with a bull’s head, he is believed to be one of the great masters of music and dancing. He is a prominent iconic figure in many Shiva temples. Particularly notable is the massive 10-ton Nandi lying on his belly that greets all those who arrive at the BRIHADISHVARA TEMPLE in Tanjore.
   Further reading: John Dowson, A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature, 12th ed. (Ludhiana: Lyall Book Depot, 1974); Margaret Stutley, An Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Ico-nography (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985); W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, 2d ed. (Calcutta: Rupa, 1973).
   Nandi, the divine bull and vehicle of Lord Shiva (

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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