Dog Bless You: The Legend of Kukurdev Lives On

The dog has often been used as a slang to take on others, but in real life it is not only one of the most loyal creatures on Earth, in some parts of India it is being worshipped as godly being at par with some very revered gods and goddesses. At Khapri village in Durg district of Chhattisgarh is the Kukurdev temple where the dog is worshipped as god. The statue of the dog is installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, while there is a Shivling beside it. The number of devotees visiting this temple increases significantly in the month of Shravana. The devotees coming to the temple consider Kukurdev as important as Nandi.

Not just the sanctum sanctorum, there is also a statue of dogs on both sides of the entrance. It is believed that one visit to Kukurdev rids one of the chances of whooping cough and cuts down the risk of dog bites.

Story goes that it is a memorial of sorts which was built to venerate a faithful dog. Centuries ago a traveller came to the village with his family. He had a dog with him. When the village was hit by a famine, the traveller took a loan from a money lender in the village. He was unable to repay the loan. In such a situation, he pledged his loyal dog to the moneylender.

It is believed that when the moneylender got robbed and the thieves buried the valuables under the ground and thought that they would later take it out, the dog came to know about the stolen goods and took the moneylender to the spot. When the moneylender dug the pit on the dog’s prodding, he got all his goods.

Pleased with the dog’s loyalty, the moneylender decided to free him. He got back to the traveller and ensure he reaches to his original owner safely. The traveller for once thought that the dog had runaway. Infuriated, the dog was beaten to death by the traveller. What he missed was the letter. He was shocked when he read the letter of the money lender hanging around the dog’s neck. Stricken by immense grief, the dog built a memorial on it. The memorial eventually took the form of a temple, which till date stands tall as the Kukurdev Temple.

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