First of all there are many more gods than what we see here. Interestingly this one shows only males. All goddesses are missing.
Hindu mythology is as old and as imaginative as Greek mythology. It has epic tales of heroism, evergreen plots full of twists and turns, perfect portrayals of the entire spectrum of human emotions. But unlike the others, hindu mythology has kept its heroes alive. All the gods are worshipped even today and with a fervour not less than what it was thousands of years ago.
Here we have the Big Three - Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Shiva is in the middle carrying his son Murugan. On his right is Vishnu who is also given equal importance. He is one who takes different avatars (reincarnation) and comes down to earth to establish balance.
Brahma, the many headed God, who created everything is on Shiva's left. He is usually spoken of less. In fact, he gets chastised by Shiva once too often. He had one of heads nipped once. He was also cursed that he would never be worshipped. Even today people do not worship him and there are only two temples for him in the entire world. Some men dare defy Shiva and I still don't know the story behind those temples.
The real hero in this picture is actually Murugan, the baby held by Shiva. He is a warrior; he is hot-tempered; he is said to be like Ares/ Mars the god of war. Murugan is the favourite god of Tamils and he is very knowledgeable too. Here he is teaching his father the meaning of the cosmic sound 'OM' the sacred chant of the Hindus.
I have not even started on the stories and I find I have already written so many words! There is so much more on everyone here including the bull, the peacock, the sage and so on. Perhaps some other time.