Shitla Devi Temple
Shitla Mandir is another major attraction of Kathgodam. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga and the ambiance at the place is quite superb. Travellers love to visit this place with the preparation of a picnic. Please note image is generic. Shitala (Sheetala), also called Sitala , is a Hindu goddess widely worshipped in North India, West Bengal, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as the pox-goddess. She is the Goddess of sores, ghouls, pustules and diseases, acclaimed by Hindus. Shitala literally means one who cools in Sanskrit. Shitala is worshipped under different names all through the subcontinent. Shitala is more often called ma (‘mother’) and is worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists and tribal communities.
The goddess is mentioned in Tantric and Puranic literature and her later appearance in vernacular texts (such as the Bengali 17th century Shitala-mangal-kabyas, ‘auspicious poetry’) has contributed to strengthen her status. Shitala is primarily popular among the people of North India. In some traditions she is identified with an aspect of Parvati, the consort of Shiva. Shitala is addressed as Mother, as a seasonal goddess (Vasant, i.e. Spring) and with honorific titles such as Thakurani, Jagrani (Queen of the World), Karunamayi (She who is full of mercy), Mangala (The Auspicious One), Bhagavati (The Goddess), Dayamayi (She who is Full of Grace and Kindness).