Coastal Karnataka, which is often in the news for communal disharmony, now has a Hindu temple built by a Christian man. A Mumbai-based businessman, who returned to his native town in Udupi district of Karnataka, has built a Ganesha temple at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
77-year-old Gabriel Nazareth built the temple in Mattaru Attinje, 14 km from Udupi.
“I have built this temple in the memory of my parents Fabias Sebastian Nazareth and Sabeen Nazareth. We used to live here until I moved to Mumbai for work. This is my parents’ place. Our house stood at the same place where the temple stands now. I believe in Ganesha and attribute my success to Him," said Gabriel.
Lord Ganesha is known to remove obstacles, as per Hindu beliefs.
Gabriel moved to Udupi 10 years ago before which he worked in Mumbai for 55 years. He ran a workshop of dye blocks.
“I lived right next to Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi which I visited often," he says.
The new temple which stands opposite a mosque has all facilities including a well and accommodation for the priest.
“He lives in a small house near the temple. He has been very helpful and does a lot of social work. He helps the poor, those who come for weddings or other ceremonies," says Sathish Shetty who has known Gabriel for the last few years.