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Deshnok Temple

Deshnok Temple, Bikaner

Deshnok Temple or Karni Mata temple is located in Deshnok village of Bikaner. It is popularly known as 'Rat Temple' as the temple abounds in rats. It is believed that these brown rats are reincarnations of the members of Karni Mata's family and are believed to be the are holy figures. Who knows whether its a myth or a fact! According to the locals of the village Karni Mata who lived there in the 14th century amazed people with her miracles. The rats here do not disturb and harm people so there is no need to worry. If you happen to see a guinea pig then consider yourself fortunate as it is considered auspicious. The silver doors of

Deshnok is a village 30km south of Bikaner along the Jodhpur road. A visit to Deshnok's fascinating temple of Karni Mata, an incarnation of Durga, is not far for squeamish. Here the holy rodents are considered to be incarnations of the storytellers, and run riot over the temple complex.

Karni Mata lived in the 14th century and performed many miracles during her life-time. When her youngest son, Lakhan, drowned, Karni Mata ordered Yama, the god of Death, to bring him back to life. Yama replied that he was unable to do this, but that Karni Mata, is an incarnation of Durga, could restore Lakhan's life. This she did, and decreed that members of her family would no longer die, but would be incarnated as kabas (rats), and these kabas would returns as members of her family. There are around 600 families in Deshnok who claim both decent from Karni Mata and that they will be reincarnated as kabas.

The temple is an important place of pilgrimage, with pilgrims being disgorged every few minutes from buses. Before the temple, is a beautiful marble facade with solid silver doors donated by Maharaja Gaj Singh. Across the doorway to the inner sanctum are the repousse (raised relief) silver doors - one panel shows the goddess with her holy charges at her feet. An image of goddess is enshrined in the sanctum. There are special holes around the temple courtyard to fascinate the rats' movements, and a wire grille has been placed over the courtyard to prevent the birds of prey and other predators consuming the holy rodents.

It is considered quite auspicious to have a kaba run across your feet. White kabas are quite rare, albeit there are one or two at the temple and sightseeing one augurs well for your spiritual progress.

Deshnok Karni Mata Temple Time : 4:00 A.M.- 10:00 P.M.(Daily)

Deshnok temple or the Karni Mata temple of Bikaner is also famous as the Rat Temple. It is situated in the Deshnok village nearly 32 kilometres from Bikaner, about 40 minutes drive. The place has an interesting history as well as some myths associated with it. Formed by taking the corner plots of ten villages, it was called Dus-Noke (ten corners) and gradually became Deshnok. The patron Goddess worshiped at the Karni Mata temple was a 15th century mystic who is considered a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. Karni Mata is believed to have performed various miracles. The temple is not meant for people of a squeamish temperament. The temple is run over by numerous brown rats. The story goes that these rodents are reincarnations of the members of Karni Mata's family. There are nearly 600 families here who claim to have descended from Karni Mata and believe that their relatives are reincarnated in the rodent form. These rats are well fed and they do not bother people. Sighting a white rodent is considered auspicious. The temple has silver doors. The Karni Mata temple is an important pilgrimage destination and is visited by a large number of people seeking boons from the Goddess.

The temple and the town are also the location of the Karni Mata fair. The temple is open from 4 am to 10 pm daily.


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