Karni Mata temple or the “temple of rats” is a very famous temple situated at Deshnoke which is 30 km away from Bikaner in Rajasthan, India.
The temple is famous all over India for having 20,000 black rats that lives in the temple and are revered. These rats are considered holy and are called as “kabbas”. Many people visit this temple from far off places just to pay their respect to these rats and get their desires as reality. The temple witnesses a huge number of visitors and curious tourists from all over India just owning to the presence of these “rats”.
The temple designed in Mughal style is a beautiful marble facade which consists of doors of solid silver built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. Across the doorway, there are many more silver doors with panels that depict various legends of the goddess. The shrine of the goddess is placed in the inner sanctum. The temple was further decorated and beautified by the Hyderabad based jeweler Kundanlal Verma in the year 1999. The marble carvings and the silver rats are also donated by him to the temple.
According to local folklores, once an army of 20,000 soldiers were deserted in a nearby battle and came to the village of Deshnoke running. When Mata learnt about the sins of desertion punishable by death, spared their lives turning them into rats. The soldiers also paid gratitude in return and promised the goddess to serve her forever. One can find few white rats among those black rats who are believed to be Karni Mata herself and her four sons.
Other legend says, that once Karni Mata’s step son Laxman drowned in a pond which was in Kapil Sarovar in Kolayat Tehsil while drinking water. Mata prayed to Yama, the god of death to spare his life to which Yama first refused and later relented, permitting reincarnation as rats to Laxman and all of Mata’s male children.
The construction of the temple was completed in the early 20th century. The temple is very famous for the legendary stories and folklores. The temple is also believed to be a place of high faith where people come to seek the blessing of the goddess. It is also believed that if a rat is killed by someone then one should replace it with a silver rat.
Reaching the temple is not at all difficult because the city is very well connected with every kind of transportation. Buses, trains and taxis are easily available and the road towards the temple is quite comfortable and accessible.
There are a lot of things to do in this famous temple of Karni Mata:
The temple opens to all public at 04:00 early in the morning. At that time puja and aarti is also done which is attended by a lot of devotees. The temple closes by 10:00PM a night.
No entry fee required to enter the temple.
The best time to visit the temple is during the fair and festival. Apart from that one can visit the temple whenever they wish to and can offer bhog and prayer to the goddess ad seek her blessings.