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Sitala – ‘cool one’ is a fever goddess of northern & central India, particularly related to Smallpox, the onset of which was traditionally considered to be her lila and sufferers treated as though possessed by the goddess, rather than being stigmatised.

Sitala is sometimes depicted wearing red garments and riding an ass. She carries seeds (the seeds of disease) which she throws upon her victims. In the Skanda Purana she is described as having a fair complexion, and carrying a a water-filled pitcher and a broom.