Approximately 3000 villagers came together for a grand feast and ceremonial rites for the funeral of a bull that they had lived with for 20 years, reports The Times of India.
The bull, lovingly known as Babuji, passed away on 15 August from natural causes in the village of Kurdi, Uttar Pradesh. The rituals and farewell had been carried out as though he was an elderly figure within the community.
During the death feast, known as terahvi, the priests chanted for his soul, and the photo shrine of Babuji was showered with flowers and money.
The villagers had explained to The Times that Babuji was considered a family member and was seen as a "gift from the divine." When he was younger, he was seen roaming holy sites which prompted some residents to call him Nandi, a Hindu guardian deity typically depicted as a bull.
In the days before the death feast, the villagers conducted religious rites and mourning ceremonies for Babuji, including cremation and a rasam pagri, which is a funeral ceremony for the death of the eldest male in a family, added The Times.
Since cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion, in many parts of India it is forbidden to slaughter them or eat beef.