Hindu Story on Why Snakes Shed Their Skin



Nagas, or Snakes (especially cobras and hooded serpents) are worshipped in Hinduism. Finding the Nagas near abandoned termite hills (anthills) is considered highly auspicious. There is an interesting Hindu myth that explains why snakes shed old skin and grow new skin.

The Churning of Ocean, or Samudra Manthan, was performed by the Devas (demi gods) and Asuras (demons) to get Amrut or the nectar of immortality. After getting the pot of Amrut from Dhanvantri, a fight broke out between Devas and Asuras as to who will first consume the Amrut.

The Amrut pot was kept on the ground many times during the confrontation and some of it spilled on to the ground. The nagas, or snakes, is believed to have rolled on the grass on which the pot of Amrut was kept.
That is why they are able to shed their old skin and grow new skin – thus they are symbols of renewal and regeneration.