The temple is located at a distance of 30 kms from Bikaner at Deshnok in Rajasthan. The temple is popular for its copious rats with an estimation of 20,000 in total number living within its marble adorned walls. This temple holds upon the strangest sight you could ever get to see. Though Bikaner is prevalent for its camel safaris and historical forts, but it is this temple in Deshnok that won’t let you go without being noticed.
As per legend there are some secret facts that make the mystic place an exception. The story behind rats in the temple goes this way; it is said that once Karni Mata’s stepson drowned in the pond named Kapil Sarovar in Kolayat Tehsil while drinking water from it. Then, Karni Mata an incarnated form of Goddess Durga asked Yama Dev, the God of death to revive him. Initially he denied the possibility, but later he promised her that all members of Charan clan will be reborn as rats in her temple and when they die as rats, they will reborn in a human form again. Karni Mata herself lived for 150 years all young and beautiful and when she died, she also was reincarnated as albino rat. And that’s how all them were converted in the form of rats.
Rats of this temple are highly revered by Hindu followers as they believe they are their ancestors. If you wish to see writhing of rats at optimum mass, it is advisable to arrive either at the time of sunrise or late at night. In spite of numerous rats the place is safe and sacred, you can roam freely where the rats are fed on ‘Prasadam’ , milk, grains, the remains of which are considered holy and the piece of a food snacked upon by a rat is said to bring a good luck.
Some of the most inetresting facts about this temple of India are :
1. All the rats are of same size and weight and no rat is found newly born.
2. No rat can be witnessed outside the temple.
3. Surprisingly the proximity of too many rats together can lead to a prominent disease, Leptospirosis, but that isn’t a case.
4. An estimation of 20,000 rats in total , but still the temple is free from any kind of epidemic.