An interesting legend explains the stripes on the back of most of the squirrels. During the construction of the Adi Sethu (bridge) at Rameswaram by Lord Rama and the Vanara Sena, a little squirrel also contributed in its own little way. It rolled in the beach sand and then ran to the end of the Sethu to shake off the sand from its back (chanting Lord Rama's name all along).
Lord Rama, pleased by the creature's dedication, caressed the squirrel's back and ever since, the Indian squirrel carried white stripes on its back, which are believed to be the mark of Lord Rama's fingers. Lord Rama and the squirrel is mentioned in one of the hymns of the Alvars.