In the state of Chhattisgarh, in Khapri village in Durg district, there is a temple dedicated to a dog. It is called Kukur Dev. The story goes that there was once a banjara (gypsy) who had a dog. During a famine, he had no money, so he gave up his dog as collateral to a moneylender. One day, there was a theft in the moneylender’s house. The dog saw where the thieves hid all the stolen goods and dragged the moneylender to the place, who retrieved the stolen goods. The moneylender then wrote a letter to the banjara, expressing his gratitude for the dog, and further stated that he had written off all the debts owed by the banjara. He tied this letter to the dog’s neck and sent him as a messenger to the banjara. However, when the banjara saw his dog coming back from the moneylender’s house, he beat the dog so hard with a stick that the dog died. After the dog died, the banjara saw the letter around the dog’s neck and realised what had actually happened. In sorrow and remorse he built a temple, in the memory of the dog, called the Kukur Samadhi.
This eventually became a Shiva temple, dating back 500 years, built by the local kings, for dogs are closely related to Shiva. The temple has the reputation of being Rinmukteshwar, where one is liberated from debts. Legend has it that Adi Shankaracharya came to this location to be free of all the debts he owed his guru.