The buffalo is most commonly associated with Yama , the Hindu God of death. He is usually depicted riding a fierce-looking black male water buffalo.
The buffalo is sacred to the Todas of the Nilgiris. The animal plays an important role in many of their rituals.
The festival of Vijayadashami is celebrated to mark the victory of Goddess Durga over a demon named Mahishasura ( mahisha – buffalo + asura – demon ).