Karni Mata – Temple of Rats

Karni Mata – Temple of Rats
Also known as the Rat Temple, Karni Mata Temple is believed to be home to 20,000 sacred rats, which live and are protected here. This is the reason why this temple is also known as the Rat Temple of India. It is located in Deshnok, Rajasthan, which is just 30 km away from Bikaner. It is believed that Karini Mata was a sage woman, who was born in 1387 in the Charan caste of Hindus. Karni Mata Temple is completely dedicated to him. She is also the Kuldevi of the royal families of Jodhpur and Bikaner.

Karni Mata was often referred to as Nari Bai. It is known that Karini Mata was married to a man named Kipoji Charan of Sathika village, but she refused to involve herself in any marital relations. She made her younger sister Gulab to marry her husband so that both of them could lead a happy married life. Karni Mata lived her life in celibacy. It is believed that in 1538, when she was returning to Deshnok with her stepson Punjar and other followers. She asked her caravan to stop near Gadiyayal and Girirajsar in Bikaner district for water and disappeared from there.

Some interesting facts about Karini Mata Temple
The 20,000 black rats that live in the Karni Mata Temple are known as Kaba and it is believed by the locals that these rats are army men who had fled from a nearby battle. Although the punishment for fleeing the war was punishable by death, Karni Mata gave him life and turned him into rats.
Although there are thousands of rats in this rat temple but never a single case of plague came from in or around the temple.
Even when these rats die, there is no smell of any kind here.
If someone kills a rat here, he will have to offer a rat made of gold weighing the weight of the rat to the temple.
Among the thousands of black rats, some white rats also live here, which are considered to be the most sacred.

how to get here
The nearest airport from the temple is Jodhpur Airport, which is 220 km away from the temple. From the airport you can easily hire a taxi or private/government transport bus, which are available in abundance.
The nearest railway station is Bikaner Railway Station (30 km away), which is well connected to all major cities of India.
Tips and advice for travel
Normally, the temple opens to the public at 4 in the morning.
Twice a year, Karni Mata fair is held from Deshnok, Rajasthan in March-April and September-October.
It is believed that eating the food swallowed by rats brings good luck and high esteem to the devotees.

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