Golu Devta or Lord Golu (Garhwali: गोरिल देवता) is the legendary God of the Kumaun and eastern Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state of India and is their deity (predominantly Kumaon). In eastern Garhwal, he is worshipped as Goril Devta.
Golu dev used to travel far distances on his horse and used to meet people of his kingdom, Golu Darbar used to take place and Golu Dev used to hear the problems of the people and help them in any way possible, he had a special place for people in his heart and he was always ready to help them, due to his complete dedication to people, he led a very simple life and lived his life on the principles of brahmacharya.
Golu dev still meet with his people and in many villages the practice of Golu darbar is still prevalent, where Golu dev appear in front of people and listen to their problem and help people in every way possible, the most common form of Golu Dev Darbar these days is Jagar.
Golu Dev always had a special place for his White horse in his heart, he still do love his horse. So it is believed by many that he still travels on the back of his horse .
He is the god of justice and he serves it well. That is why people worship him as The God of Justice "Jai Nyay Devta Golu apki Jai ho".
Golu Devta is considered as an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav (Shiva), and is worshipped all over the region. He is regarded as the dispenser of justice by the devotees with extreme faith.
Historically, he is considered as a brave son and a general of Katyuri king, Jhal Rai and Kalinka. His grandfather was Hal Rai and great-grandfather was Hal Rai. Historically Champawat is considered as the origin of Golu Devta. His mother Kalinka is believed to be the sister of two other local deities Harishchand Devjyun (the divine spirit of Raja Harish of the Chands) and Sem Devjyun and both these deities are regarded as uncles of Lord Golu.
Another legend suggests that he was a General in the army of Chand king, Baz Bahadur (1638–78), and died displaying exemplary valour at war, the temple at Chitai was erected in his honour, 8 km (5.0 mi) from Almora city.
Another legend says that Golu Devta was killed by the king of Binsar due to some false doubt, and he was beheaded by the king and his body fell at Gairad at Dana Golu and his head fell at Kaparkhan, near modern-day Binsar, a few km from Almora. At Dana Golu, there is the original and most ancient temple of Golu Devta. The most popular story about Golu talks of a local king who, while hunting, sent his servants to look for water. The servants disturbed a woman who was praying. The woman, in a fit of anger, taunted the king that he could not separate two fighting bulls and proceeded to do so herself. The king was very impressed by this deed and he married the lady. When this queen gave birth to a son, the other queens, who were jealous of her, placed a stone in its place and the child in a cage and put the cage into the river. The child was brought up by a fisherman. When the boy grew up he took a wooden horse to the river and on being questioned by the queens he replied that if women can give birth to stone then wooden horses can drink water. When the king heard about this, he punished the guilty queens and crowned the boy, who went on to be known as Golu devta.
Golu Devta is seen in form of Lord Shiva, his brother Kalva Devta is in form on Bhairava and Garh Devi is form of Shakti. Golu Devta is also prayed as key deity(Ista/ Kula Devta) in many villages Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Uttarakhand. Normally three days pooja or 9 days pooja is performed to worship Lord Golu Devta also known as Goreel Devta in Chamoli District. Golu Devta is offered Ghee, Milk, Curd, Halwa, Poori, Pakauri and head of Goat sacrificed. Two Male Goat sacrifice ( Bali) is performed. Preferred black in colour. One in the temple of Golu devta and the other outside temple in remote location. The sacrificed goat is received as Prasada of pooja. Golu devta is known as God of justice and prayed with great pride and enthusiasm. Golu Devta is offered with White Cloths, white pagari and white shaal.
There are many temples of Golu Devata in Kumaun, and the most popular are at Chitai, Champawat, Ghorakhal, Chamarkhan (Tehsil Tarikhet, District Almora). It is popular belief that Golu Devta dispenses quick justice to the devotee.
Devotees in turn offer bells and sacrifice animals after the fulfillment of their wishes. Thousands of bells of every size can be seen hanging over the temple premises. Many devotees file a lot of written petitions daily, which are received by the temple.
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