Bikaner Excursions - Karni Mata Temple (Rat Temple)
Karni Mata with divine powers -an incarnation of Durga, is worshiped at this place, which is situated en route to Jodhpur and located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Bikaner in Deshnoke village. Dedicated to goddess Durga, Karni Mata was endowed with divine powers. Karni Ji incarnate as a daughter of Meha Ji Kiniya, on 28th Sep., 1387 at Suvap Village of Jodhpur District. The present deshnoke was establishd by her in 1476. Karni Ji urbanized this area into a sanctury and anyone seeking asylum in this area was put to no harm. People accused of crime used to come here and adopt sanity to get themselves absolved of their sins.
According to a tale and anecdote, Karni Mata was an incarnation of Durga, once the child of one of her clansmen died. She tried to bring back the dead child to life from Yama (God of Death) but she was told by him that the child had already been reincarnated. From that point forward, Mata announced that no one from her Tribe would ever fall into Yama's hands again instead they would be reborn as rats until being born back in to the tribe. Since then all her clansmen turned rats seeking shelter in this temple and with the blessings of Karni Mata they get their food, shelter, lodging and their lifestyle continues inside the temple itself.
The most amazing thing which you will find at Karni Mata Temple is -you'll be surprised to see that thousands of rats throng all over the temple floors. Peculiarly enough, these rats do not bite the barefooted pilgrims who enter the temple rather they silently play with them, eat with them, run around them, sit on their laps which the devotees consider to be the benediction of the Goddess. There is one rare blessing that draws the most attention, and that is the sight of a white rat. Out of all of the thousands of rats in the temple, there are said to be four or five white rats, which are considered to be the holiest.