(Image source from: })
Inside this temple you will see around 20,000 rats scurrying between the feet of pilgrims, still they are not scared but are protected.
Karni Mata temple is known for its devotion to the furry animals, which are often seen as dirty creatures in urban area. The temple is located in a small town of Deshnoke, Bikaner in Rajasthan. Karni Mata is also referred to as ‘Nari Bai’.
There are many stories behind rats being worshipped and protected here.
One of the legend goes that Karni Mata, a mystic matriarch from the 14th century, was an incarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. At some point during her life, the child of one of her clansmen died. She attempted to bring the child back to life, only to be told by Yama, the god of death, that he had already been reincarnated. Karni Mata had cut a deal with Yama: From that point forward, all of her tribe people would be reborn as rats until they could be born back into the clan.
These holy animals are called as ‘kabbas’ or ‘little children’ are fed grains, milk, and coconuts shells from large metal bowls. According to the temple rules, stepping on rat and killing it is a sin. The sinner is then bound to buy a gold or silver rat statue and place it in temple as a payment of sin.
Water the rats drink from is considered holy, and eating the rats leftovers is said to bring good fortune to those making the pilgrimage to the temple.