A reincarnation of Goddess Durga, Karni Mata was a warrior sage of the Bikaner-Jodhpur region and it is believed that she laid the foundation stones of Bikaner Fort and Mehrangarh Fort. In a small village of Bikaner called Dishnoke, the Karni Mata Temple (also known as the temple of rats) is situated in her honour.
When In Bikaner, Dare Yourself To Visit This Temple With 20,000 Rats
What Makes It Awesome
What makes the temple highly unique is the presence of over 20,000 rats called Kabbas in the premises. The black rats here are deemed auspicious by the locals, and daily prayers are offered to them. It is said that one of the sons of Karni Mata, Lakhan died and she fought with Yama (God of death) to bring him back but his new avatar was that of a rat hence, they’re considered holy. Now, there are a few white rats amidst the black ones that are said to be Karni Mata herself and her sons.
The Kabbas roam around freely, and are fed by the devotees. If they nibble on your feet or chew on your food, you’re considered to be lucky, and your wishes have a high chance of being granted. In fact, a regular sight here is to see people lure the rats out in order to present offerings to them. If a rat dies, it is replaced by a silver or gold one, keeping the number intact at all times.
The temple is open from 4:00 am to 10 pm every day.
What Could Be Better
It is truly a game of faith here, as not many would be happy seeing thousands of rats around them.
Visit the temple during the Karni Mata fair that happens between March to April and September to October for added excitement! Also, don’t forget to gorge on Bikaneri Bhujia when in the town.