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Kula-dèvatā (transl. clan-deity), also known as Kuladeva or Kuladevi is an ancestral tutelary deity in Hinduism, who is often the object of one's devotion (bhakti), inorder to coax the god for favours, and to have the god the watch over one's family and children from probable misfortune. This is distinct from Ishta-devata (personal tutelar) and village deities. One of the iconic example of Kuldev Puja is of Bagbhairab Puja done by the Munsi Newars in Kirtipur, Nepal.
The word Kuladevata is derived from two words: Kula, meaning clan and Devata, meaning deity. Thus, it can be said that Kuladevatas are deities which are worshiped by particular clans. The deity can be a male, female, animal or even an object, like a holy stone. 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 worshiped in several sects of Hinduism and Jainism. In the state of Maharashtra, the Kuladevatas are mainly manifestations of Shiva or Shakti such as Khandoba or Bhavani, respectively. In the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, these deities are generally, the various manifestations of Parvati, the wife of Shiva. She is worshiped by different names by different clans. The Indian King Cobra(Nag) is also a famous Kuladevata. It is known by several names, such as, Nagadevata and Nagabaapji and is worshiped by several Hindu, Jain and Kshatriya clans. Some Kshatriya clans also claim themselves to be "Nagavanshi" or Descendants of the Naga.
In Kerala, amongst the Nair community, each tharavadu (ancestral family house) has a Kula Devata - often, the devi form of Bhadra, besides Para Devatas of ancestors in tharavadu temples. However, each branch of the family and members also worship Ishta-Devata depending upon village deities and choices.
In Tamil Nadu, Goddess Kamakshi, Goddess Renukamba and Lord Muruga are family deities among many others, for many Brahmin Iyers and also to Maravar And Vellalars. Goddess Bhadrakali is the tutelary deity of Nadars. Majority of the Nadar Settlements will have a temple for Goddess Bhadrakali. Goddess Angalaparameshwari for majority of chettiars and vellalars. Lord Narashima for Brahmin Iyengars and also to Naidu. Worship of Kuladevta is very much prominent amongst the Brahmins and Kshatriyas of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, that are the Konkani Saraswats, Daivajnas and Konkani Kharvis. Most of the Kuladevata temples are found in Goa, Shantadurga, Mahalakshmi, Nagesh, Mangesh, Ramnath to name a few. Kuladevatas play a very pious role in the Saraswat Brahmins, Daivajnas and Konkani Kharvis, it can even supplant the role of the Istadevata.
Worship of the kula-devata or kula-devi is considered to be of utmost importance. The Kula-devata is the guardian of the family, of the lineage. Ancestors of the family have worshipped the deity and there is a bond between the family and the deity. Hence such worship bears fruits early. Worship of the kuladevata is said to appease the deity who is the sole protector of the family. One who worships his/her family deity is said to be protected by the deity in times of calamity.
1. Kali 2. Durga 3. Shiva 4. Simhavahini 5.Narayana 6.Krishna 7.Gandheshwari 8.Damodar 9.Shridhar 10.Raghuvir[disambiguation needed] 11.Lakshmi-Narayan/Lakshmi-Janardan 12.Raghunathji 13.Gopinathjiu/Madhusudana/Madanmohana 14.Radha-Govinda/Radha-Krishna/Radha-Madhava 15.Sitala 16.Hara-Parvati/Hara-Gauri 17.Mahalakshmi 18.Baal Gopal 19.Mangalchandi 20.Chaitanya mahaprabhu
Kuladevata worshipped in Maharashtra include:
- Ambabai-Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur
- Mahalakshmi of Dahanu,Palghar
- Tulja Bhavani of Tuljapur
- Charbhuja Dist. Rajsamand
- Ekvira of Karla Caves
- Jaganmata/Devi Parvati/Maa Durga of Toppo, Baghwar and Kachhapa(West Orissa Origin) Community
- Khandoba of Jejuri
- Jyotiba of Kolhapur
- Khandoba of Pal
- Kedar Janani of Tise, near Kolad, Maharashtra
- Mahadeva of Toppo and Baghwar Community
- Mandhradevi of Wai
- Renuka of Mahur
- Vasavi Matha of Penugonda Kshetram
- Mothi Devi of Khamgaon Buldhana, Vidarbha
- Vyadeshwar of Guhagar
- Yamai of Aundh
- Yogeshwari of Ambejogai
- Manudevi of Adgaon
Kuladevatas of Konkani people
Konkani people worship following deities as their Kuladevatas, most of the temples are located in Goa. Some of the deities were shifted to other places in Konkan by the devotees during the Goa Inquisition. Some of them are listed below:
- Devaki Krishna
- Jaganmata(Maa Durga's avatar)
- Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya
- Mahamaya Kalika
- Kalkai or kalika devi
- Sharwani Vetal
- Devi Mauli
- Arbuda Mata(mount abu-rajasthan)-Kuldevi of Chaudhari Anjana Patel.
- Semoj Mata- Khatana Rabari
- Momai Mata- kuldevi of subclans of Rajgor brahmins, rajputs, kshatriya and merchant communities.
- Kunjal Mata - Kuldevi of Pareeks
- Ashapura Mata - Jadeja Kuldevi
- Baba Ramdevji
- Suswani Mata- Kuldevi of Dugar,Surana and Sankhala Gotras
- Susmad Mata - Kuldevi of Kabra. Temple in Kuchera (कुचेरा) - a village in Mundwa tahsil in Nagaur district of Rajasthan.
- Bhadrakali - Hanumangarh
- Bhavar Mata - Chhoti Sadri
- Bhatiji Maharaj
- Bigga Ji -
- Brahmani Mata
- Chamunda Mata
- Chorwadi Zund Bhavani Mata Vora[disambiguation needed], Kikani
- Dada Jasraj - by Saraswat Brahim Lohana, Bhanushali and others
- Daryalal - by Lohana Sindhi
- Dev Narain - Gurjar
- Gajanan mata - khangar
- Gogaji - Chauhan
- Harkor - Kuldevi of Lohana and Bhanushali
- Harsidhhi Mata
- Hinglaj Mata
- Jeen Mata
- Kalsariya Dada - Kalsar, Gujarat
- Khodiyar Mata leva Patel, Bharwad, Rabari
- Maha Kali Mata
- Mahalakshmi Mata - Shrimali Brahmin, Vanik, Soni
- Mansa Devi - Churu
- Modheswari - Modh
- Nagnechiya Maa – Rathore Kuldevi
- Rana Jashraj - Kuldevata of Lohana and Bhanushali
Randhal Maa- kuldevi of HAPANI's and many others
- Sakrai Mata - In Sikar, Rajasthan
- Shakti Mata - Zala Kuldevi, Makwana - in Patdi - Dhama, Gujarat
- Siriyal Mata - Savla Kuldevi, Bhisra - in Kutch, Gujarat
- Sachiya Mata
- Bapu Bhalara Bapa -Kuldev of Palan family Lohana, Panchavda, Dist. Rajkot, Gujarat
- Renuka mata(mother of god Parshuram) - kuldevi of mourya(Rajput-nimad-MP)now in someplaces of Gujarat
- Satsariya Bapa of Dhasa (Nag-dev)
- Tulja Bhawani
- Umiya Mata kadava patel, Brahman
- Vachra Dada - Solanki and others.
- Veer Teja - In Kharnal in Nagaur district in Rajasthan
- Vindhya-Vasini Mata
- Shree Sindhvi Sikoter Mataji At Jamnagar "Gujrati Lohana Kataria Pariwar" Kuldevi
- Shree MastRam Baba Ji At Khansurjapur Bharatpur khainwar pariwar
- Goddess Angalaparameswari
- Lord Pavadairayan
- Renukamba at Padaiveedu
- Madurai Veeran
Kuladevata of the Nadar caste include:
- Goddess Bhadrakali is the tutelary deity of the Nadar community as a whole. But each Kutam (sub division) has its own family deity / Kŭladaiwat/kŭla-dèvatā.
- Each Kutam (sub division) of Nadar caste have other forms of goddess Bhadrakali (MuthuMaalai amman, MuthuAara amman) or Lingam (SuyambuLingam, SankaraLingam) or Aiyanar (Arunsunai Kaatha Aiyanar, Ponvandu Aiyanar, Karkuvel Aiyanar) as family deity / Kŭladaiwat/kŭla-dèvatā
- Pra. Pā Śiroḍakara; H. K. Mandal; Anthropological Survey of India (1993). People of India: Goa Volume 21 of People of India, Kumar Suresh Singh Volume 21 of State Series, Kumar Suresh Singh. Anthropological Survey of India. pp. 283 pages. ISBN 9788171547609.
- Mallikarjuna Temple, Goa
- "Kuldevi List & Gotra List of Oswal Samaj - Agam Nigam - A Jain Hub". 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
- Robert L. Hardgrave (1969). The Nadars of Tamilnad: The Political Culture of a Community in Change. University of California Press. p. 38. ISBN 81-7304-701-4.