Chitai Golu Devta temple is only about 10 kilometers from the cultural city of Almora. There is a village known as Chitai. The village is popular for the shrine of legendary god Golu Devta, locally known as Golju.
The temple holds a great religious value among devotees and is uniquely known for the devotion of the pilgrims towards Golu Devta.
Historically, Champawat is considered as the origin of Golu Devta. According to some historians and local people, Golu Devta was the son and general of king Jhal Rai and Kalinka of Katyur dynasty.
His mother, queen Kalinka is believed to be the sister of two other local deities Harishchand Devjyun, considered as the divine spirit of Raja Harish of the Chand dynasty, and Sem Devjyun. Both these deities are believed to be uncles of Lord Golu.
One of the most noticeable things at the temple is the collection of different kinds of brass bells. Many devotees of Golu Devta donate these bells. This has been going on for centuries. These brass bells represent the gratitude of the devotees towards God after fulfillment of their wishes.
A few historians suggest that lord Golu was a general in the army of Baj Bahadur, who was a king of Chand dynasty from 1638 to 1678. He died displaying extraordinary courage on the battlefield and ever since regarded as a God.
The story which is most popular in Kumaon region involves a local king. While hunting, he sent some of his servants to bring some water for him. While searching for the water the servants disturbed a lady who was praying at that time.
The woman got angry and taunted the king that he could not separate two fighting bulls. The king accepted this challenge and eventually failed. Then the lady did it herself. The king got impressed by this and he married her.
After the king had a son from this queen, the other queens got jealous of her. They took the child and put a stone in his place. They put him in a cage and throw it into the river. The child did not die and a fisherman found him. He was brought up by that fisherman.
When the boy grew up he took a wooden horse to the river and went to the king. The queens questioned him about it, he replied that if women can give birth to a stone then wooden a horse can drink water. The kind then punished the queens and accepted the boy as his son. This boy later went on to be known as Golu Devta.
According to another legend, before Golu Devta was considered as a God, the king of Binsar at that time killed him because of wrong doubt. Locals tell the king beheaded him and his body fell at Gairad at Dana Golu and his head fell at Kaparkhan, near modern-day Binsar. There is the original temple of Golu Devta, at Dana Golu.
Chitai Golu Devta temple is located only about 10 kilometers from Almora. It is also connected to the road going to Jageshwar Dham. One can hire a taxi or use a shared taxi. Regular bus services are also available on regular basis.