Rendezvous at Karni Mata Temple

The Rat Temple of India

The land of thousands of mythical cultures and legends, India has always been a place of interest among travellers seeking adventure, learning history or having a great architectural experience. Home to thousands of live rats, this one-of-a-kind temple of Karni Mata is famously known as the Rat temple because of the presence of thousands of live Rats. Worshipped as a Hindu Deity, Karni Mata was a warrior and sage from the 14th century. Her followers believe that she is the reincarnation of Kali Mata (also known as the warrior goddess.) She is also the official Deity of the royal families of Jodhpur and Bikaner.

History of Karni Mata Temple

As the temple is full of live rats, it’s the only temple in the world where rats get worshipped. As per old legends, when Karni Mata’s son, Laxman, died accidentally by drowning in Kapil Sarovar, she made a deal with Yam Dev to reincarnate her drowned son. When Yam refused to help her, she promised her clan that the Charan Caste would live perpetually as rats and be reincarnated as humans again upon being dead rats in future. Presently, the rats living in the temple are worshipped as the family members of Karni Mata.

More than 25000 rats, known as Kabbas, are spread around the big courtyard and the main building inside the temple.

Design and Architecture

The temple of Karni Mata was constructed in the 19th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. Its design and structure resemble Mughal architecture. The majestic silver doors and mesmerising marble front are historical marvels. The current intricate design, carvings and structure will remind you of the design of the Taj Mahal because its entrance is decorated with marble carvings with intriguing detailing, making it one piece of art.

Design and Architecture of Karni Mata Temple
Image Source matakarnitemplecom

Blessed by the Rats’ Myths

Drinking water from the bowl used by rats to drink or bathe will bring you good luck is the most bizarre myth surrounding the Karni mata temple. Pilgrims consider rat leftovers to be pure and blessings from Karni Mata.

They wait around for hours to get a glimpse of a white rat amongst thousands of brown rats. They believe that Karni Mata herself reincarnated as a white rat. Seeing the white rat is considered a direct blessing from the deity. 

Rats at Karni Mata Temple
Image Source matakarnitemplecom

Visit Karni Mata Temple

The story of Karni Mata and her clan is considered true among the locals. Thousands of pilgrims visit to seek blessing from Karni Mata and pay respect to the Rats which is considered a good deed among Hindus. The temple remains open for visitors from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm, so you can visit anytime during this time slot. Entry to the temple is free but you have to pay a minimal amount to take cameras inside the temple. 

Karni Mata Fair is organised twice a year on the occasion of Navratri in March/April and October/November.

How to reach Karni Mata temple?

It is located in Deshnok, 30 Km from Bikaner, Rajasthan, and is accessible by private taxis and buses. Also, Bikaner is connected to all major cities in India by train routes and national Highways. So you can take the national highway no 62 while travelling by road.

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