According to Indian scriptures a cow is a gift of the gods to the human race. As the cow provides milk, it is equated to one's mother. Traditionally, cows were present in every Indian household and they were considered to be a part of the family. It seems that even today cows still have a special place in Indian culture. I do not think there was a single day that I would not see a cow walking freely and enjoying its life, no matter if I was traveling in rural parts of the country or if I was in Hyderabad (which is a big city with more than 4 million inhabitants).
In villages majority of cows had painted horns. Apparently it is supposed to ward off evil spirits, but these days it might also be used as a way of showing ownership.
A common sight in the villages: a cart pulled by cows with painted horns:
Nobody pays any attention to cows passing by:
Holy cow in the center of Hyderabad: