The origin of Shiva as a deity goes far back to the time of Indus Valley civilization. Seals were discovered that depicted Him as either horned or wearing a horned headdress, surrounded by animals while sitting cross legged. The Vedic deities like Purusha, Rudfra, Agni, Indra, Prajapti, Vayu, among others familiarized Shiva in the communities. But, it was the later Vedic literature, which depicted Shiva in a supreme light, effervescent with supporting attributes.
The worshipping of Shiva is assumed to be a Pan- Hindu tradition, spreading across Nepal and Sri Lanka as well. Lord Shiva has a far reach in the history and tradition of various religion and countries, other than Hinduism.
In the country, the religion of Buddhism and Sikhism talk about Lord Shiva. He is mentioned in the Buddhist Tantra as passive, Upaya or path of liberation. Sikhism, on the other hand talks more about the deity as the Japuji Sahab chapter of the Guru Granth sahib says “The Guru is Shiva, the Guru is Vishnu and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakshmi”, and also “Shiva speaks, and the Siddhas listen.” In the Dasam Granth also, the two avatars of Rudra, Dattatreya Avtar and Parasnath Avtar are mentioned by Guru Gobind Singh.
Vayu- Vata, the God of wind in Zoroastrianism, has also similar appearance like that of Shiva.
Apart from India, there are many foreign countries that either regard the existence of Shiva or worship him. The popularity of Lord Shiva went up throughout Central Asia during the period of Hephthalite (White Hun) dynasty and Kushan Empire. It has been found that the regions of Sogdiana and Eastern Turkestan portrayed Shiva with a halo, and a sacred thread, wearing a tiger’s skin and the Ganas, who are his attendees, wear Sodgian outfits. There are several other depictions of his with Him sitting cross- legged on a padded seat, with two bulls on his side and another with his Trimurti and Shakti kneeling beside him.
The Mongolian tribe of Kirant in Nepal also worships Shiva as a major deity, familiarizing him as Pashupati, the lord of animals. The form of Shiva as a yogi is also said to have been derives from Mundhum, as mentioned in their scriptures, Mundhum. The scripture also states that Shiva took a human form, as the child of Kirant and showed him visions in the form of a male deer.
In the country of Indonesia, Shiva goes by the name Batara Guru Maharaja Dewa (Mahadeva), as per the Indonesian Hinduism.
In Japanese culture, Daikoku- ten, one of the Seven lucky gods is considered to be an avatar evolved from Lord Shiva. The deity is exalted with high reverence in households and worshipped as a God of wealth and fortune.