India: ‘Raja’ – The Little Stray Who Was Adopted and Changed the World for his Adoptive Family – A Wonderful Story of Hope.






HUBLI: There are temples and temples — some for idols, and some for matinee idols in today’s hero-worshipping times.

But for a pet mongrel? Chandrashekharaia Kulkarni, 58, did just that — he built a temple for a dog who he believes had divine powers.

Today, it has turned into a religious spot in Ranebennur, in Haveri district.


In 1994, Kulkarni was running a small scale industry making paan masala sachets in a rented building. It was a loss-making unit, and Kulkarni planned to shut it down. One day, he saw a two-week old puppy straying onto the premises.

He tried to shoo it away, but the whining mongrel stuck around. Out of pity, Kulkarni decided to rear it.

As fate would have it, things began to change. His business blossomed, he bought his own building on five guntas of land in the industrial area. All this he attributed to the dog, believing he had brought him luck.

The puppy grew up to be a part of the family. Kulkarni named him Raja Narayanswami, and treated him as his child. The family took good care of Raja, who surprisingly, was a vegetarian. Towards the end of 2008, Raja died of a prolonged illness.

To keep Raja’s memory alive, the family decided to build a temple for him. With the support of the people and other pet lovers, Kulkarni built a temple and put up a portrait of Raja in 2009. He held a huge fair during Vijayadashmi. And ever since, people have been thronging the temple. His wife Kasturamma and children Manjaiah and Gayatri too believe the dog possessed divine powers.

Said Kulkarni, a law graduate, “Raja was like our son, not just a dog. Our fate changed after it came to our industry. It often protected our property from thieves. We believe it was a reincarnation of God.”

This year too, Kulkarni plans to hold a big fair and mass feeding during Vijayadashmi. “Now, we want to build a primary school after him, and are awaiting permission. The land is finalized. We have also placed an order for a silver statue of Raja, embedded with precious stones, to be installed in the temple,” he added.

Thanks and Regards
Santosh Rajashekar

SAV Comment

Unfortunately; no pictures at present to go with this post.  A photo of Raja and / or the temple would be great.

Can anyone help ?

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