In the city of Deshnok, 30 kms south of Bikaner. There is the well-known, unique and peculiar Karni Mata Temple (or Temple of the Rats ). This temple famous for hosting some 20,000 of these rodents that roam freely. And have found in this paradise that every bug could wish for. If you are apprehensive, it may disgust you, but we already tell you that it is not so bad.
Karni Mata, the Temple of Rats
History of the Temple of Rats
The temple of rats was built more than 600 years ago by Maharaja Ganga Singh in honor of the Hindu goddess Durga, reincarnated in Karni Mata on the s. XIV. Rats are believed to be the reincarnation of the Sedhu, disciples of Karni Mata, and Karni Mata himself and his family are reincarnated as a white rat, hence it is lucky to see one of these.
Although the rat temple began construction 600 years ago. And it was not completed until the beginning of the 20th century and, in terms of architecture, the Karni Mata temple stands out for its white marble entrance and silver doors.
Inside, the intense pink color of its walls does not leave anyone indifferent either. Although the main incentive for everyone and for which it has become famous outside India is rats. And just by crossing the entrance to the temple, you start to see rodents on both sides …
It goes without saying that if rats are here generation after generation. It is because of the possibility of finding easy food, proof of this is the bowls full of milk that serves as food.
If the western tourist, for that we are going to be deceived, only supposes an exotic visit, for the fervent followers of the Hindu goddess Durga this temple supposes a place of pilgrimage.
Inside is the holiest part of the rat temple, the sanctuary for the goddess. An image of Karni Mata that is 75 cm tall covered with a crown and a flower garland. The entrance of a tourist or their camera does not seem to be well received, as was our case.
Walking through the interior of the temple you can see some holes. That were made so that the rats could access from one room to another. In the end you check that it is built so that they can ride freely and on top with facilities. Almost nothing…
And so that the followers and tourists can make the view of the temple of rats more enjoyable. Some gentlemen of those who take care of the temple are in charge of keeping it clean by sweeping and sweeping all the waste that these animals leave.
Although they do not leave it very aseptic, at least it serves to avoid having to step on “sacred” excrement.
The visit to the Karni Mata rat temple is certainly a curious thing, and although at first, it may seem a place not suitable for apprehensive, saying that it does not impress so much in that aspect, it is not so disgusting.
How to get to the Karni Mata Rat Temple
You can get there by train, bus or rickshaw. Being a tourist place there are many options available. Furthermore, Bikaner is only 30 km from Deshnoke, so in less than an hour, you should be there.
Practical information about Karni Mata
1. It is a place of worship in India, so it is essential to take off your shoes to enter
2. Hours from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
3. The entrance fee to the temple is free (but if you want to enter with a camera you will have to pay a fee of 30 rupees)
4. A tip is usually left when collecting shoes (about 10 rupees per pair)