Deshnok is a small village in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan. Famous as a pilgrimage place it is known for housing the very unique Hindu temple "Karni Mata Temple" or the Rat Temple where rats are considered to be sacred. This tiny village comes to life during the Karni Mata Fair which is celebrated twice a year. Thousands of devotee's visits Deshnok during this fair and the entire village is bustling with activities and tourists.
Karni Mata Temple or The Rat Temple.
Karni Mata Temple is a fascinating Hindu temple situated in Deshnok. One of the most honored temple in the country it is dedicated to Goddess Karni Mata who is believed to be the reincarnation of the goddess Durga. The temple is one of its kinds as here rats are worshipped and considered to be sacred. The story behind this temple as mentioned in the legend is when Karni Mata once tried to bring back the life of a child of a storyteller but did not succeed.
Due to the failure she announced that after her death everyone from her tribe (charan) would temporarily inhabit the body of a rat before being reborn into the tribe. Thousands of brown rats can be seen running all over the temple and being fed by the devotees. These rats are locally called as Kabas, which move around without any fear and it is considered to be auspicious if a rat runs over your feet. Also there is a white rat which is seen rarely and the one who is able to spot it will have good luck. These holy rodents are the souls of Karni Mata's departed devotees. People from all over the country pay a holy visit to Shri karni Mata temple during Navratras.