Shiva (The Auspicious One) is one of the three triumvirate gods of Hinduism responsible for destruction, creation, and upkeep of the world. Shiva is the god of destruction but he is also represented in other forms to symbolize other concepts. For instance, with the moon on his head, Shiva shows wisdom. With a snake wrapped around his neck, he symbolizes alertness. And with the third eye on his forehead, he shows knowledge. You might also find Shiva wielding a trident, which signifies that he is above three states—sleeping, dreaming, and walking. 

One of the most popular Shiva statues is the Nataraja. It depicts the god Shiva as a cosmic dancer performing the divine Tandavam dance. This dance is to destroy the weary universe and prepare it for its renewal. 

You might also find a Shiva statue that comes with his wife Parvati, the reincarnation of Goddess Mahadevi. It is also fairly common to find Shiva statues along with his entire family, not just Parvati. Shiva’s sons—Kartikey and Ganesh—are often depicted to be sitting on their parents’ laps. 

If you are planning to display a Shiva statue in your home or office, you should always be aware of important rules in terms of placement. For starters, it’s best to place Shiva on an altar. If you don’t have one, an elevated table or bookcase should suffice. Never place Shiva statues on the floor, under a clothes line, or at the foot of your bed. Make sure that no other objects are beside or around the Shiva statue. You may of course put Shiva beside other Hindu god idols, like his sons or his wife. It is also appropriate to have a statue of Nandi close to Shiva. Nandi, the bull, is the vehicle and gatekeeper of Shiva; sometimes he is also the mount of Shiva statues.