A kuladevatā (transl. clan-deity), also known as a kuladaivaṃ, is an ancestral tutelary deity in Hinduism and Jainism.
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).
Male kuladevatas are sometimes referred to as a kuladeva, while their female counterparts are called a kuladevi.
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.
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. 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. 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.
In western India, some communities regard local monarchs who belonged to their clan to be their kuladevata.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of the various kuladevatas revered in different regions of the Indian subcontinent:
Some of the primary kuladevatas of Andhra Pradesh include:
Some of the primary kuladevatas of Karnataka include:
Some of the primary kuladevatas of Kerala include:
Some of the primary kuladevatas of Tamil Nadu include:
The kuladevatas worshipped in Maharashtra include:
The kuladevatas venerated in the Konkan region include:
The kuladevatas worshipped in Gujarat and Rajasthan include:
In Bengal, the following deities are venerated as kuladevatas:
The following is a list of kuladevatas venerated in Bihar:
The following is a list of kuladevatas venerated in Sri Lanka: