Temple of Bells is a famous temple which is on the name of a 'Maha Purush" called Golu Devta. He was the Kind of this area and was so affectionate to his subjects that after he died this temple was made on his name. Yet another such temple exists near Almorah. It is believed that he is still seen on his horse moving around in his subtle body by many.
Ghorakhal is a small place, perched at an altitude of 2000 meters above the sea level. It falls under Nainital district of Uttarakhand, approximately 36 km from Kathgodam Station and 4 km from Bhowali. 'Ghorakhal ' literally means ‘a pond for water to horses’. It is a picturesque site, with natural serenity and placidity. Ghorakhal is a must visit for all those who come to Nainital and Bhowali. It is the perfect destination for those who love to have a silent, serene and peaceful holiday, away from glitz-blitz of cities.
One of the famous attractions in Ghorakhal is Golu Devta Temple, always in news for the unique rituals performed here. One such ritual is that devotees make petitions at the temple, using stamp papers, to seek desired decree in litigations. On accomplishment of their wish, the deity is shown gratitude by hanging bells or making animal sacrifice. People from all over the region consider Golu Devta, the presiding deity of the temple, to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva and ‘the God of Justice’.
The first Sainik school of Uttarakhand is located at Ghorakhal. This is 'one of its kinds' school in the area and is surely worth a visit. This school prepares its students, mentally as well as physically, for joining the armed forces and inculcates the feeling of patriotism in them, right from childhood. The climate of Ghorakhal is cool and healthy throughout the year, making it an ideal place for setting up such an institution. The admissions take place only for VI and IX classes.
You will see bells from 100 gms to 100 kgs and even bigger in this temple.
This temple is is clearly visible from Raksha Retreat. It is on the highest point and in extreme winter, it snows also but a little. The landscape visible from this temple is mesmerising.
This temple is around 10 kms from Raksha Retreat and takes around 25 minutes, worth a visit.
GoluDevata is thought to be as an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav (Shiva), and is worshipped all over the region and regarded as the dispenser of justice by the devotees with extreme faith.
Historically, he is considered[by whom?] as the brave son and General of Katyuri king, Jhal Rai and his mother was Kalindra, and his grandfather was Hal Rai and great-grandfather was Hal Rai. Historically the origin of GoluDevata is accepted at Champawat. His mother Kalindra is believed to be the sister of two other local deities HarishchandDevjyun (the divine spirit of Raja Harish of the Chands) and SemDevjyun and both these deities are regarded[by whom?] 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 from Almora city.
Another legend says that GoluDevta 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 GoluDevta.
The most popular story about Gwalla 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 got 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 Gwalladevata.
GoluDevta is seen in form of Lord Shiva, his brother KalvaDevta is in form on Bhairava and Garh Devi is form of Shakti. GoluDevta is also prayed as key deity(Ista/ Kula Devta) in many villages of Chamoli. Normally three dayspooja or 9 days pooja is performed to worship Lord GoluDevta also known as GoreelDevta in Chamoli District. GoluDevta 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 Goludevta and the other outside temple in remote location. The sacrificed goat is received as Prasada of pooja. Goludevta is known as God of justice and prayed with great pride and enthusiasm. GoluDevta is offered with White Cloths, white pagari and white shaal.
There are many temples of GoluDevata in Kumaun, and the most popular are at Chitai, Champawat, Ghorakhal. It is popular belief that GoluDevata 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.