Baradeva is worshipped by Gondas who live in the plains along the Ganga and Son Rivers in North India. Baradeva is believed to live in the date palm tree. He is worshiped along with date palm tree or khajura. He is also known as Haladiadeva. The deity is quite similar to Lord Shiva.
The newlywed couple brings haldi (turmeric) rice from the bride’s house. It is believed that Baradeva of the bride’s family also comes with the haldi. Therefore, he is known as Haladiadeva.
Bali or sacrifice is offered to the deity when a marriage takes place. The sacrificed object is later consumed as Prasad.
A popular legend has it that once a person of the Gonda community went to the riverbank to cut grass for his horses. He saw a snake over cow dung on the riverbank. A khanjana (bird) was sitting on the hood of the snake facing northeast.
The man informed about what he saw to the royal priest. After consulting scriptures, the priest told the man that he would become an emperor.
The king of the region heard this and fearing a rival to his throne, he had the man killed.
Soon the ghost of the man began to trouble the king.
To appease the ghost, the king then erected a statue of the person and started to worship it as Baradeva.
He is worshipped on all auspicious occasions.
Before propitiating any God or Goddess, Baradeva is worshiped by Gondas.