Karni Mata Temple
Rajasthan , Bikaner
Bikaner known for its desert safaris and forts, is also known for its unique temple of Karni Mata. The temple also called the rat temple, as it has thousands of rats running around the temple premises. The rats are considered extremely holy and are revered by the worshippers. The story of Karni Mata dates back to the 15th century though the present temple of Deshnoke was built in the 1900's by Maharaja Ganga Singh. The temple was further enhanced by Kundanlal Verma of Hyderabad-based Karni Jewelers in 1999.
Karni Mata was an ascetic who led a virtuous life and dedicated her life to the service of the poor and the oppressed of all communities. When one her stepsons died, she asked Yamraj to bring him back to life. When Yama denied the request, she restored his life as a rat and announced that the followers of the Charin once dead, will be reincarnated as a rat and subsequently, when a rat dies, it will be reincarnated as a human again. The temple was...View more
established for her worship after her disappearance from Bikaner.
The temple built in Mughal architectural style is constructed in marble. Inside the temple complex, there is pair of silver doors donated by Maharaja Gaj Singh. Across the doorway are more silver doors with panels depicting the various legends of the Goddess. Enshrined in the sanctum is the deity of Karni Mata holding a trishul (trident) in one of her hands. She is decked with a crown and a garland of flowers. The temple has around 20,000 rats th...View more
t are fed, protected and worshipped. Many holes can be seen in the courtyard of this temple where one can see groups of rats. Wires and grills are placed in the courtyards to protect the rats from birds.Pic Courtesy :en.wikipedia.org
Timings : According to the temple laws, if one of the rats is accidentally killed, it must be replaced with a rat made of silver or gold.
Devotees are advised to dress in clean and conservative attire.
Located in the middle of Thar desert Bikaner is famous for its camel safaris, forts and temples. There is a Camel Festival organized by the Department of Tourism of the Rajasthan Government in January every year in Bikaner.
Karni Mata Niji Pranyas, Post Office, Deshnoke, Rajasthan
By air - Jodhpur International Airport is the nearest airport to Bikaner, which is approximately 251 km away from the Bikaner City. It is well-connected with all the major cities of India. Buses and trains are available from Jodhpur to Bikaner.
By rail - Bikaner railway station is connected to other parts of the country. It is situated around 25kms from the temple.
By road - Taxis and buses are available to Bikaner from other parts of the state.
Charan priests perform Mangla-Ki-Aarti and offer bhog (special food) in worship.
Milk, grains, flowers
Devotees make offerings to the rats, which roam about the temple in large numbers and are considered auspicious. There are a few white rats in the temple and sighting them is considered auspicious. Eating food that has been nibbled on by the rats is considered to be an honour. It is also considered auspicious to have rats scamper over your toes.
March - Karni Mata Mela
October - Karni Mata Mela