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Sonali Agrawal

What is Sheetala Saptami and how it is celebrated in Udaipur?

Udaipur is a famous tourist destination among foreigners not just for forts and lakes but drawn for the city vibe due to its rich culture. Even now, holidays are celebrated throughout the city with zeal and passion, making them even more memorable.

These traditions keep us grounded and provide a sense of belonging. Today, every Mewar household celebrates Sheetala Saptami, the ceremony we are discussing, also celebrated on the day of Ashtami.

When is Sheetala Saptami celebrated?

When is Sheetala Saptami celebrated?

Sheetala Saptami is a Hindu Festival celebrated in the month of Chaitra or Phalguna on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha (Holi). It is also known as Basoda Puja or Basora Puja in some states. In Udaipur, Sheetla Mata is also known as Untala Mata. On this auspicious day, devotees worship Mata Sheetala, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. She sits on a donkey holding neem leaves, a broom, soup, and a pot signifying cleanliness and what to do if you have heat-borne problems.

In Hindi, sheetala means “cold.” The goddess is thought to protect against heat illnesses like chickenpox, smallpox, and measles. On this day, believers fast and honor Maa Shitla. This year, it will be observed on 1st April, 2024. Her narrative was authored by Lord Shiva, also known as Sheetalashtak.

Also Read- Famous Festivals of Udaipur

Sheetala Saptami Muhurat 2024

As per Hindu Panchang, Sheetala Ashtami will begin on 1 April 2024 at 09.09 AM and end on 2 April 2024 at 08.08 PM. The best time to do Sheetala Pujan is 06.10 Am to 06.40 PM.

Sheetla Mata Mantra:

Vande Han Shitalam Devi Rasabhasthan Digambaram. ( Chant this mantra with Tulsi Mala)

How is Shitla Saptami celebrated in Udaipur?

How is Shitla Saptami celebrated in Udaipur

There are many rituals performed in the city of lakes. Followers get up early before sunrise and take a bath. They light diya and offer prayers to Maa Shitla by visiting the Sheetala Mata temple and offering sindoor, mehendi, paan, supari coconut, Haldi, Bajra, and sweets. After this, they listen to Vrat Katha and offer Prasadam like curd, ker sangri, puri, bhindi, panchkuta, aalo ki sabji, and cold food. A special rice kheer named Oliya is offered to the goddess on this day. After offerings, the same food is eaten by the devotees.

Have you ever heard your mother saying- today we will eat cold food all day. It’s this day when no fire for cooking. Women prepare a full-day meal the night before Saptami. Also, the cooked meal is nonspicy and made to relax the digestive system. It is what Udaipur people do on Shitla Saptami.

Where is Sheetala Mata temple in Udaipur?

Where is Shitla Mata temple in Udaipur?

There are many Sheetla Mata Temples in Udaipur in Mochiwada, Ayad, etc., but the famous one is near City Palace Samor Bagh, Udaipur. However, here are the addresses of Mata Shitla Temple to visit nearby:

1. HMXP+7JX, Zinc Park, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001.

2. HPV4+7RQ, Kharakua, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001

3. 119, Janta Marg, Old City, Surajpole, Brahmpuri, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001

4. HMFP+GF7, Old City, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001

5. HM94+RRJ, Rani Rd, Shavri Colony, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313031

6. JMJV+WXH, Bedla, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313011

What is Cooked in Sheetala Saptami in Udaipur?

What is Cooked in Sheetala Saptami in Udaipur

Sheetala Saptami marks the start of summer in India, serving as a gentle reminder to switch up our diet to cooler, simpler foods. This festival happens at a time when the weather shifts from spring to summer, making digestion a bit harder due to the heat. So, on this day, people lean towards eating foods that are easier on the stomach like oliya, a simple potato curry, panchkuta, puris, okra, and dishes with dry mango powder. It’s a tradition that not only respects the season’s change but also aligns with what’s good for our bodies in the heat, showing a deep-rooted understanding of how to live in harmony with nature’s rhythm.

Sheetla Saptami Story as per Hindu Puranas

Many legends are associated with the goddess, but the two stories signify Maa Shitla’s power and importance.

As per Skanda Purana, Goddess Shitla emerged from the sweat of Lord Shiva. She is depicted riding a donkey and carrying a pot filled with a cooling, disease-fighting liquid. Often, she is accompanied by Jvarasura, the demon of fever.

There was a village where a lady believed in Maa Shitla and fasted for her every year, but the villagers did not believe in the goddess. A sudden fire broke in the village, and every hut burned except the devotee lady’s house. When people knew about this, they started worshiping Sheetla Mata.

Another story tells of two wives who accidentally ate hot food on Sheetala Saptami, a day when we eat only cold food. They later encountered Sheetala herself, who revealed their mistake and the reason behind the illness in their village. The wives apologized sincerely, touched by their regret, and not only cured the villagers but also brought their deceased children back to life.

Therefore, devotees pray Shitla Maa to bless their families and shield them from all heat-related diseases.

Related- Udaipur’s Colorful Holi Celebrations: Experience the City of Lakes

Why It Is Important to Celebrate Sheetala Saptami

Why It Is Important to Celebrate Sheetala Saptami

Sheetala Saptami is a special festival in Hinduism because:

  1. Worshipping Goddess Sheetala: This day is dedicated to Goddess Sheetala, who is considered an aspect of Maa Parvati and Goddess Durga. She symbolizes healing and is worshipped for protection against diseases like chicken pox and smallpox.
  2. Cleanliness: The festival emphasizes cleaning homes and surroundings to remove bad karma and prevent diseases, highlighting the importance of hygiene.
  3. Fasting: Many devotees fast on this day as a sign of devotion and to seek the goddess’s blessings, believed to help in purifying the body and mind.
  4. Rituals: Activities include the “Kiriya” ritual and offering grains and vegetables to the goddess, practices that are thought to bring good health and prosperity.
  5. Community gathering: It’s a time for people to come together, celebrating the festival as a community and strengthening social bonds.
  6. Donations: Offering food and donations to Brahmins is also a part of the celebrations in some areas.

Story of Royal Palace on Shitla Saptami

As we all know, the famous Shitla temple is located near the City Palace, and hundreds of ladies dress up in yellow/orange sarees to visit it on this auspicious day. It is claimed that an awful tragedy occurred with the royal family of Udaipur on Saptami, hence, it occurs on the eighth day, Ashtami. However, one can do puja on Saptami and Ashtami. ( However, there is no documented tragedy linked to this date, it is what locals say)

The Ashtami celebrations in the City Palace begin with spectacular processions, where men dressed in royal costumes lead gilded horses and bands from Tripolia Gate to the Shitla Devi Mandir in Samorbagh. On the tenth day of the celebration, the Peepal tree, also known as Dasha Mata, is worshipped.


We all live in a world where new diseases come and go. Believe it or not, worshiping gods keeps you motivated and gives you mental peace and hope that everything will be alright.

So, when we delve further, understanding all of these stories teaches us that after every awful thing, something good happens, and we pray to Maa Shitla to protect us from any harm and bless our family.

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