Karni Mata Mandir (famous as Rat Temple) in Deshnoke is located at 30 kms from Bikaner. When travelling to Bikaner a visit to this temple is by default. The temple is dedicated to Karni mata (real name Ridhubai) who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. She was the goddess of Bikaner and Jodhpur kingdoms, blessing them with prosperity, peace and good health.
The temple was built in the 15th century and saw its proper completion (as we see today) in the 20th century under the rule of General Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh of Bikaner. One can see the dominating influence of Mughal architecture in its making. The temple has a beautiful carved marble facade (a few captures as seen below) and the silver doors that depict tales from Karni mata’s life.
To know more about ma Karni do not forget to visit the museum just opposite the mandir.
The temple has thousands of rats known as kabhas and considered holy. The white rat amidst them is considered to be the holiest as folklore states it as reincarnation of Karni mata. Some interesting folklore are:
- Sighting of the white rat is considered to be a blessing / fruitful
- If the rat eats your prasaad or runs across your feet / climbs on you its considered to be a blessing
- When a rat dies there is no foul smell at all
- The place is plague free
- If one accidentally kills a rat they need to replace it with a silver or gold rat of same size, shape, height, weight as the deceased one
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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe