The famous Temple of Chitai Almora is the Golu Devta Chitai temple, dedicated to Gollu or Goljyu Devta an Avtar (incarnation) of Lord Shiva in the form of Gaur Bhairav. Although there are many temples of Golu Devta in Almora but the Chitai Golu Devta Temple is the most sacred one. It is reputed to make every wish come true, provided the worshipper ask for it with a clear conscience. The temple is situated at 9kms from Almora.
Chitai Golu Devta Temple in Almora Chitai Golu Devta – God of Justice.
Golu Devta is famously regarded as God of Justice. Maximum devotees worship the deity and ask for the justice on behalf of the injustice have been done to them or with their family. Devotees worship at Golu Devta with the means of White cloth, Pagri and White Shawl. People believes that God asks for in propitiation is a bell, as is evident from the thousands of bells strung across the temple premises. Anyone can even seek Gollu Devtas divine intervention by writing to him. Stacks of letter are pinned all over the temple along with bells.
Golu Devta Temple – Chitai Temple of Golu Devta in Almora.
As the story goes, once a king went Ito the forest for hunting, when the king became thirsty he ordered one of his servants to fetch water for him, in turn the servant disturbed a lady deep in meditation, the king got fond of the lady and married her. As the other queens of the king became jealous of the new queen they stole the newborn child of the queen and replaced it with a stone and threw the kid in a lake where a fisherman found him. Later when the boy realised about his true identity he decided to seek on the injustice done to his mother. He goes to the lake with a wooden horse and tries to make the horse drink water from the lake, seeing this the king asked the boy how can he make the wooden horse drink water at which the kid asked the king if a women can give birth to a stone then the horse can also drink water. The king realised his mistake and accepted him as his son. He then treated this subjects with mare care and concern and became popular for his justice and was regarded as Gwalla devta. there are also many other stories relating to the origin of Golu devta, some says he was the son of the Katyuri king, Jhall Rai and the grandson of Hal rai. According to another story he was the general in the army of Chand king Baz Bahadur. Gwala Devta also called as “Gwala” which means a herder of Cows. There is also well known saying about Golu Devta, that if you tie up a bell in neck of sacred cow, the ringing equals to 1000 bells in a holy temple. It was his belief that all 33 crores gods and Goddesses are pressent in a single temple. Golu devta have siblings Kalva Devta, in form of Bhairava and Garh Devi in the form of Shakti. In villages of Chamoli which are very close to Kumaon, Golu Devta is also worshiped as key deity (Ishta/ Kull Devta). Golu Devta is worshipped by devotees from far flung areas. Devotees perform 3 days pooja or 9 days pooja and give offerings in name of Lord Golu Devta. Also known as Goreel Devta famous in Chamoli district (Jaagar). Lord Golu basically worshipped by offering Ghee, Milk, Curd, Halwa, Poori, Pakauri.