Temple Karni Mata : Places to Worship Rat in India

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During my travel to Bikaner, the city of camels, I discovered another very strange mythological of rat worship in the place called Karni Mata Temple and I cannot but draw a separate picture of that story. The Karni Mata  Temple is about 30 kilometers away from the main city of Bikaner  in the Deshnoke town. It is worth a visit because you will never ever get to see such a unique scene of thousand rats crawling in the floor of the temple.

The Legend behind Rat Worship:

According to the mythological story, the origin of the ritual of rat worship dates back to the 15th century. Karni Mata was an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The story goes like this… once Karni Mata asked help from the Death God Yama to give back the life of one of her devotees (the traditional storytellers). Then Yama granted her wish by reincarnating the devotee as a rat. From then on, all the devotees of Karni Mata were blessed that on their death, all of them would be reincarnated as rats until their rebirth as human beings again.

 History of the Temple:

Another story that is believed is that once Mahara Ganga Singh of Bikaner had a vision I his dream that the Deity Karni Mata tells him to create a temple in order to provide a proper shelter to her devotees (rats). Then Ganga Singh constructed this Karni Mata Temple. The temple is made of white marble along with silver and gold domes.

The visitors of the temple are not allowed to wear shoes inside. However, you can be assured that strangely enough the holy rats never bite any devotees inside the temple. It is believed to be lucky if any of the rats runs over your feet.

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