Karni Mata Temple popularly called as the “Temple of Rats”, is situated in the town of Deshnoke, Bikaner, state of Rajasthan.
Karni Mata temple was believed to be built in the early 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh, was the ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Bikaner (Rajasthan). And was said to be enhanced by Kundanlal Verma of Hyderabad-based Karni Jewelers (dated on 1999).
The Silver gates and the marble carvings of Karni Mata temple are said to have donated by Kundanlal Verma.
The Karni Matatemple has been constructed in the Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture.
The mythology was that while Laxman, the stepson of Goddess Karni Mata, was immediately drowned in a pond when he attempted to drink water from the pond in Kapil Sarovar, which was in Kolayat Tehsil.
Goddess Karni Mata requested Lord Yama, the god of death, to restore the life of Her stepson, but Lord Yama refused Her request in the beginning but finally relented and permitted Laxman along with all of the male sons of Goddess Karni Mata to be reincarnated as rats.
The local legend says that a strong army of 20,000 soldiers has deserted their battle field and came running to the place Deshnoke.
To teach them their sin of desertion from their field and to punish them, Goddess refrained from killing them but converted them into rats and offered Her temple for them to stay.
As the soldiers are spared from their death by Goddess Karni Matha, the soldiers paid their respect to the Goddess and promised to serve Goddess Karni Matha forever.
The presiding deity of this temple is Goddess Karni Mata, the incarnation of Goddess Durga, found holding a Trishul (trident)
The special feature of the temple is that there are about 20,000 blackcolored rats lives in this temple.
These holy rats are called as ‘Kabbas’, which are considered to be more sacred and are respected by the devotees.
There are a few white rats in Karni Matha temple which are believed to be the manifestation of Goddess Karni Matha Herself and Her four sons. And the white rats are considered to be more sacred.
The food that has been tasted by the rats in the temple are considered as a great honor and is respected by the devotees as a Prasadam, religious offering of god.
The doorway of Karni Matha temple contains various legends of the Goddess Karni Matha.
If one kills a rat in this temple, they should be replace it with a solid gold. And it is said that whenever a rat in this temple dies, there will be a birth in that village.
- Mangala Aarti – 4:30 AM
- Bhog Aarti – 8:00 AM
- Shringar Aarti – 3:45 PM
- Sandhya Aarti – 7:00 PM
- Shayan Aarti – 9:00 PM
- Navaratri Festival – March/April
- Navratri Festival – September/October
Location and Transportation
The nearest airport to reach Karni Matha temple are Jodhpur, which is about 235 km and Bikaner, which is about 30 Km.
People can also avail train by reaching Bikaner by broad gauge or meter gauge train. Bikaner is connected with Kolkata, Kalka, Bhatinda, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Delhi by train.
Bikaner is connected by road with the major cities of India. The distances are Delhi 456km Jaipur 334km, Jaisalmer 333 km.
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