Kailash : On the sideline, the Golu Devta Temple

This post is part of a travel recollection from Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2018 via Lipulekh. For a list of posts in their sequence please refer to the following link:

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra : The beginning…

Continued from the previous post…

I wanted to visit this temple for quite a while. And it has got NOTHING to do with my own belief.

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Entrance of the Chitai Golu Devta Temple, Almora

Travel experiences have changed and evolved to me over the past years. The initial days of going out for a break or for some time away from the mundane life has changed to an eagerness to learn from experiences, more of looking at the nature trying to learn more about self.

I often feel that the mountains pose the most challenges toward human life. Despite romanticising life in the high lands by many, the very basic sustenance over there still remains relatively harder than those on the plains. And it could be due to this fact, that God becomes the last resort, not only for solving the bigger, deeper issues of life, but the mundane needs and wants. People belonging to the higher altitudes share an unique relationship with God.

This is the story of the Chitai Golu Devta. The temple where letters are written requesting the God to solve peoples problems and when the wish is fulfilled, people come back, this time to tie a bell depicting the fulfilment of their dreams. The deity finds it origins some times as part of the Katyuri kings times, some times that of the Chand kings. But to date it is arguably one of the most revered deities in  Kumaun and eastern Garhwal region.

The innumerable bells tied with the piles of letters hanging are the first thing to be noticed post entering the premises. Next thing comes as a auditory experience of hearing the bells ringing in different tones. It is a musical experience without a fixed note but equally alluring.

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The bells tied in the temple.

Just like one petitions to the court, the common man decides to give a petition to Chitai Golu Devta! Very often that is done using a valid stamp paper, the one you pay stamp duty to the government and typed in a language that fits legal requirements. Some, however decide to use a normal paper to write about their plight. And like any other request, once the petition is approved by the God, and the wish is fulfilled, the common man goes and ties a bell in His temple!

I loved the innocence in the belief. And what I saw melted my heart, once again. From letters written by tiny hands asking for a first rank in class 4 exams to letters crying for recovery from long standing ailments, Letters where writer asked for a job to the ones asking to be married to the person they love, the entire pathway leading from the main gate to the entrance of the place where the deity, that of a man on a horse with a sword in hand was kept, was filled with a kaleidoscope of human life problems. And these were the practical issues, not the kind of epic problems that are expected to require divine intervention. The kind of issues you tell your family about, the small little daily life problems that makes life, well, interesting.

As I waited in the line and moved further in, I felt the emotions in all those letters and saw the hundreds of bells tied, depicting the fulfilment of their wishes. I could not determine if the letters were more in number or the number of bells tied?

I had nothing to ask for and hence I tied no requests 🙂 but I paid my respects to the God of the highlands and moved forward towards Pithoragarh

The next leg is continued in the next post….

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