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Vetal Worship in Hinduism

Vetal is worshipped as the main deity in temples in Goa and certain regions in coastal Maharashtra and Karnataka. In the coastal regions Vetal is believed to be the deity who is worshiped to overcome storms. He also helps in trade and commerce. He was widely patronized by merchants who ventured out into the sea to do business.

He is also very popular village deity. He is the guardian of the village and he moves around the village at night and keeps vigil on the property of the devotees. As he moves around the village his sandals get worn out and devotees take a vow to offer sandals to the deity.

Vetal is widely worshipped as parviar devata or Panchyatan – worshipped as subsidiary deity in many temples in India.

The murti of Vetal is four armed and hold sword, shield and a bowl. One hand is in blessing posture. In some images he has a beard, mustache and a crown. A scorpion is shown on the abdomen in some murtis.

Vetal is today widely part of Bhuaradhana. He is the chief ghost and also an evil spirit. Hunted animal or cock or goat or buffalo is offered to him.

In temples dedicated to Vetal, the priest is from non-Brahmin caste.

Tuesday and full moon are the auspicious days associated with the deity.

Annual festivals in temple of Vetal begin in Ashwin month and continue till Phalgun.