The most fundamental of Hindu deities, is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - popular deities include Ganesha, Krishna, Hanuman and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga,Saraswati.
In front of the linga sits Nandi, Shiva's vehicle, vahana. He is tame and gentle.
Devotees at a Shiva shrine often touch the loins and flanks of Shiva's bull, seeking both its strength and restraint. They also try to view the Shiva linga through the horns of the stone bull, thereby gaining the perfect perspective of the cosmic lord.