Kuladevi (कुलदेवी) or Kuladevata (कुलदेवता) stands for "family deity, that is a mother Goddess" within Hinduism, as distinct from personal Ishta-devi (इष्टदेवी) or ishta-devata (इष्टदेवी) and village deities.
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 Descendents of the Naga.
In South India, Balaji of Tirupati is one of the main Kuladevatas. SrisriKashiswarJiu- kuladevata of Dutta Chowdhury family of Andul village.
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 are also worship Ishta-Devata depending upon village deities and choices.
In Andhra Pradesh, Goddess Vasavi Kanyakaparameshwari is the Kuladevi for the Arya Vysya community.
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 and Daivajna. 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 and Daivajnas, 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.