Karni Mata Temple, where rats are sacred

13 February, 2013 0 Comments

Karni Mata

There is a temple in India where thousands of rats live and move with absolute freedom. This temple is situated 30 kilometres south of Bikaner, in the city of Deshnok, India, and its name is Karni Mata.

The Karni Mata Temple, Mughal style, was completed in the early 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner and each year receives thousands of visitors.

Karni Mata, who lived during the fourteenth century, was a wise woman very well known in her time and she did miracles because she had the same power of the mother goddess Durga.

There is an old history that tells us that when Lakhn, her younger son, drowned in the river, she requested to the god of death, Yama, that returns it to the life. The god replied that he could not do so. Then Karni Mata used her power to bring back to her son to life with the body of a rat. Since then the descendants of the family of Karni Mata does not die but they pass through the same process that Lakhan. Their souls used the bodies of these animals (in particular, the bodies of the white rats) to stay in this world.

In fact, white rats are related with the good luck in this place and when they are near you it is assumed that the fortune walks in your way.

The temple is completely occupied by rats, which are called Kabas, which enjoy a quiet and pleasant life. They are fed by the locals with sweets, milk, cereals and a meal called Dipta Bhog, special for religious ceremonies. The rooms in the temple are connected by small caves to facilitate the mobility of the Kabas.

Karni Mata

To visit this temple you have to go barefoot. Although there are staff that remove often the droppings of rats, the ground is usually not very clean.

A thing to keep in mind… If you visit this temple, you have to respect your hosts, the rats. Remember that they are sacred animals.

Photo 1 source: Dalbera
Photo 2 source: Oggiscienza

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