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.
The history of the temple dates back to 12th century. The temple was constructed by a general belonging to the Chand dynasty in the 12th century. Golu Devta is the historical God of the Kumaun and eastern Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Inside the temple Golu devta is worshiped In the form of Gaur Bhairav. Golju is also considered to be the incarnation of lord Shiva.
Location of Chitai Golu Devta Temple:
The Chitai temple is located about 10 kilometers from Almora in Chitai village atop a hill. This sacred temple is solely dedicated to Golu Devta or Lord Golu, who is considered to be the God of justice in Kumaon region. The devotees show a unique devotion towards Golu Devta.
Everyday, thousands of believers write their wishes on paper and submit it in the temple. They have a firm belief that the Lord of fairness and justice will accept all requests which are made with a pure heart. When the wishes are fulfilled, devotees express their happiness and gratitude by tying bells around the temple premises or organizing a worship ceremony. Over the centuries, the temple came to be known as the place where the Golu Devta provides justice and help to all his true devotees.
History of 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 from centuries. These brass bells represent the gratitude of the devotees towards the 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.
Mythologies And Legends About Golu Devta:
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 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.
How To Reach Golu Devta Temple Almora:
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.
- Nearest Railway Station To Almora Is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is 94 kilometers away. Buses and taxis from Kathgodam and Haldwani are available on a regular basis.
- Nearest airport to Almora is Pantnagar airport, which is 124 kilometers away. Buses and taxis to Haldwani and Almora are available on a regular basis.
- Nearest international airport to Almora is IGI Dehli, 352 kilometers away. Buses to Haldwani and Almora are available from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi.