A kuladevata (Sanskrit: कुलदेवता, romanizedKuladevatā, lit.'clan deity'),[1] also known as a kuladaivaṃ (Tamil: குலதெய்வம்),[2] is an ancestral tutelary deity in Hinduism and Jainism.[3]

Madurai Veeran with his consorts, a kuladevata of communities in Madurai

Such a deity is often the object of one's devotion (bhakti), and is coaxed to watch over one's clan (kula), gotra, family, and children from misfortune. This is distinct from an ishta-devata (personal tutelar) and a grāmadevatā (village deities).[4]

Male kuladevatas are sometimes referred to as a kuladeva, while their female counterparts are called a kuladevi.[5]

Etymology edit

The word kuladevata is derived from two words: kula, meaning clan, and devata, meaning deity, referring to the ancestral deities that are worshipped by particular clans.[6]

Veneration edit

The deity can be represented in a male or a female human, an animal, or even an object, like a holy stone. It is believed that rituals done at a kuladeva/kuladevi temple benefits all those genetically connected with the one performing the ritual.[citation needed] Kuladaivams of the Shaiva tradition are often considered to be forms of Shiva and Parvati, while those of the Vaishnava tradition are often regarded to be forms of Vishnu and Lakshmi.[7] Hindu families make a pilgrimage to the kuladevata or kuladevi temple to obtain the blessing of the deity after an auspicious occasion, such as a wedding. Kuladevatas are worshipped in several sects of Hinduism and Jainism.

Due to the veneration of holy men (babas) in several regions of the subcontinent, several communities consider such men to be their kuladevatas in the place of a deity.[8]

In western India, some communities regard local monarchs who belonged to their clan to be their kuladevata.[9]

List edit

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the various kuladevatas revered in different regions of the Indian subcontinent:

Nepal edit

The kuldevata (Nepali: Kuldeuta कुलदेउता) in many hilly Nepalese families are often local dieties worshipped by the people before the arrival of Hinduism in the region. For those of Khas descent, this is often the 12 Masto gods or one of the 9 Durga Bhawanis, which include:

  • Bawira Masto
  • Dare Masto
  • Kamal Masto
  • Leudi Masto
  • Rumal Masto
  • Channa Masto
  • Winayak Masto
  • Khapar Masto

Northern India edit

Uttar Pradesh edit

Some of the Primary Kuladevatas of Uttar Pradesh include:

Southern India edit

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana edit

Some of the primary kuladevatas of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana include:

Chennakeshava, a kuladevata of Karnataka

Karnataka edit

Some of the primary kuladevatas of Karnataka include:[10]

Tulu Nadu edit

Some of the primary kuladevatas of Tulu Nadu include:

Kerala edit

Some of the primary kuladevatas of Kerala include:[11][12]

Tamil Nadu edit

Some of the primary kuladevatas of Tamil Nadu include:

Western India edit

Maharashtra edit

The kuladevatas worshipped in Maharashtra include:

Konkan edit

The kuladevatas venerated in the Konkan region include:

Gujarat and Rajasthan edit

The kuladevatas worshipped in Gujarat and Rajasthan include:[19]

Eastern India edit

Kashiswar Bhairava, the kuladevata of the Dutta Chowdhury community


In Bihar, the following deities are worshipped as kuladevatas:

  • Kamakhya
  • Banni mata
  • Durga mata
  • Mahamaya
  • maha Kali
  • Maha Lakshmi
  • Maha sarswati
  • Kumari Mata
  • sokha baba
  • Narsinh baba
  • Hanuman Ji
  • Batuk bhairav
  • Karuveer baba
  • Goraiya baba

Bengal edit

In Bengal, the following deities are venerated as kuladevatas:

Sri Lanka edit

The following is a list of kuladevatas venerated in Sri Lanka:

References edit

  1. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (2017-10-17). "Kuladevata, Kuladevatā, Kula-devata: 9 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  2. ^ "Kuladeivam & Its Significance - The Verandah Club". theverandahclub.com. Retrieved 2022-09-29.
  3. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (2017-10-17). "Kuladevata, Kuladevatā, Kula-devata: 9 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2022-09-29.
  4. ^ Cush, Denise; Robinson, Catherine; York, Michael (2012-08-21). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Routledge. p. 437. ISBN 978-1-135-18978-5.
  5. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (2017-10-17). "Kuladeva, Kula-deva: 7 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2022-10-01.
  6. ^ Saravanan, V. Hari (2014). Gods, Heroes and their Story Tellers: Intangible cultural heritage of South India. Notion Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-93-84391-49-2.
  7. ^ "Shiva and Shaivism - Origin, Beliefs, Practices, History & mentions in Vedas". TemplePurohit - Your Spiritual Destination | Bhakti, Shraddha Aur Ashirwad. 2022-05-19. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  8. ^ Kurien, Prema (2007-06-19). A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism. Rutgers University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8135-4161-7.
  9. ^ Lachaier, Pierre (1999-01-01). Firmes et entreprises en Inde: la firme lignagère dans ses réseaux (in French). KARTHALA Editions. p. 70. ISBN 978-2-86537-927-9.
  10. ^ Atmashraddhananda, Swami (2022-02-01). A Pilgrimage To Western Ghats Temples In Karnataka. Sri Ramakrishna Math. p. 15.
  11. ^ Ltd, Infokerala Communications Pvt (2017-09-01). Pilgrimage to Temple Heritage 2017. Info Kerala Communications Pvt Ltd. p. 197. ISBN 978-81-934567-0-5.
  12. ^ Singh, K. S. (1992). People of India: pt.1-3 Kerala. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 1427. ISBN 978-81-85938-99-8.
  13. ^ a b Maxine Berntsen (1 January 1988). The Experience of Hinduism: Essays on Religion in Maharashtra. SUNY Press. pp. 174–175. ISBN 978-0-88706-662-7.
  14. ^ ul Hassan, S. S. (1920). The Castes and Tribes of HEH the Nizam's Dominions (Vol. 1). Asian educational services. pp. 49, 46, 88, 97, 109, 118, 183, 234, 280, 622, 616, 556, 595, 407, 304, 370, 338.
  15. ^ Shirish Chindhade (1996). Five Indian English Poets: Nissim Ezekiel, A.K. Ramanujan, Arun Kolatkar, Dilip Chitre, R. Parthasarathy. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 107. ISBN 978-81-7156-585-6.
  16. ^ Glushkova, I., 2006. Moving God (s) ward, calculating money: Wonders and wealth as essentials of a tīrtha-yātrā. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 29(2), pp.215-234.
  17. ^ Gupta, R.R., 2007. Wada of Maharashta, an Indian courtyard house form. Cardiff University (United Kingdom).
  18. ^ Mallikarjuna Temple, Goa
  19. ^ "Kuldevi List & Gotra List of Oswal Samaj - Agam Nigam - A Jain Hub". 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2018-06-25.