Rajasthan’s Rat Temple: Karni Mata

Karni Mata Temple’; The Rat Temple Of Rajasthan

The Karni Mata Temple, often referred to as the “Temple of Rats,” holds a
distinct and renowned status. Nestled in Deshnoke, a mere 30 kilometers
away from Bikaner in Rajasthan, India, this temple stands as an
extraordinary marvel. It is celebrated across the country for being the
dwelling place of around 20,000 black rats, which are not just ordinary
rodents but are held in deep reverence. These revered rats are known as

Pilgrims and curious tourists alike embark on journeys from distant corners
to offer their respects to these unique inhabitants and, in turn, seek the
manifestation of their desires. The temple witnesses an impressive influx of
visitors from various parts of India, all captivated by the presence of these
extraordinary “rats.” The temple’s architecture, designed in the Mughal
style, boasts a resplendent marble facade adorned with doors crafted from
solid silver, a creation attributed to Maharaja Ganga Singh. Additional silver
doors, adorned with panels narrating diverse legends of the goddess,
embellish the entrance. The inner sanctum shelters the shrine of the
goddess herself. A subsequent enhancement and embellishment of the
temple took place in 1999, executed by the Hyderabad-based jeweler
Kundanlal Verma.

The marble carvings and the silver rat figurines were his
benevolent contributions to the temple’s opulence. According to local
folklore, a battalion of 20,000 soldiers, following desertion from a nearby
battle, arrived in the village of Deshnoke in haste. Learning of the
punishable transgression, Mata Karni granted them clemency, transforming
them into rats. Grateful for their lives, the transformed soldiers vowed
eternal servitude to the goddess. Among the black rats, a few white ones
are believed to embody Karni Mata herself and her four sons.

The temple stands as a revered sanctuary where faith is profoundly
unwavering. It is believed that if a rat is inadvertently harmed, it must be
replaced with a silver counterpart. The temple particularly comes alive
during its fairs and festivals, offering a vibrant ambiance. Apart from these
occasions, devotees can pay their respects, present offerings, and fervently
pray to the goddess at their convenience, seeking her blessings.

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