The Mysterious Temple Where Rats Are Worshiped Daily For Good Fortune

In Africa, Europe, and Asia, rats are great menaces that eat books, clothes, and valuable currencies and scamper around kitchens, ceilings, and wastebaskets, always looking for whatever they can successfully nibble at. So malicious beasts you may call them that Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, recently signed legislation against rats to build a cleaner city. Even after all these decrees passed for many years by not just the mayor but other noble worldwide environmental organizations, who would have believed that these same rodents are treated as dignitaries, own a temple, or even worshiped as holy creatures who bring good fortune? Only in India my dear friend is this uncanny abode located-The Temple of rats dedicated to the Indian goddess, Karni Mata, or as locals and tourists would describe it Karni Mata Temple of Rats (Trust me, thousands of rats live in this temple)


The Legend Of The Temple Of Rats- Karni Mata 

60 out of 100 individuals will probably believe that Karni Mata is where the temple was called when they first hear it, which is a very realistic scenario. The people who remain believe otherwise that it is the name of a notable person to whom the temple was dedicated as a memorial stone after their passing or that it is a feat accomplished for the good of themselves and society. In that case, history has proven you right, thus you are correct. They gave the temple of rats its name because of the mythology of Karni Mata. So who exactly is Karni Mata?


The Mythological History of Karni Mata 

Reliable historical sources of Hindu origin reveal that Karni Mata is a Hindu goddess of the Charan Lineage of the Sagatis. She is a highborn, the sixth successive girl child of Mehaji Kiniya, the Lord of the Kiniya Clan of Cāranas, and his wife, Devai Bai; and more so, a divine child promised to be the reincarnation of Durga, the protective mother of the Hindi universe. Karni Mata, as written in books, is a beautiful goddess known by so many names throughout her lifetime, including Rhidii Kanwar (the name given to her at birth), Rhidii Bai, Kiniyani, Mehaai, Jagdamba, Bhagwati, and Karniji. 


Karni, the Divine Child 

Karni’s father, Mehaji, was the Lord of Suwap village and, in coherence with the customs and traditions of the land, must have a male heir who will inherit his properties and assume status as the next lord of the clan. Unfortunately, he and his wife had five daughters consecutively each time they tried. And so fate had it in 1386AD that Mehaji, a strong devoted of the Goddess Durga, was on a holy pilgrimage secretly praying for a boy child when his wife was pregnant for the sixth time. 

It was during this time that Goddess Durga appeared to Deval Bai, his wife, and prophesied her reincarnation in the unborn child as a reward for her husband’s unceasing devotion to her. 

Research has it that Deval’s pregnancy lasted for a year and 9 months, to the astonishment of all. Alas! The foretold divine child, a bouncing baby girl, was born in 1387AD in Suwap village.

On the 7th day after purification of the maternity chamber, family, friends, and the entire community assembled at the Lord’s house to see the baby and supposedly bless him with beautiful gifts and charms of longevity. 

Mehaji’s sister was one among those who entered the cleaned room first. It immediately disappointed her to learn that the child was a girl. Then she attempted to strike her with the back of her hand. Guess what took place? To everyone’s surprise, her fingers miraculously developed defects since she was hostile to the holy child’s rebirth. Everyone that saw and heard this was in amazement since it was a confirmation of the goddess’s proclamation. Her father gave her the name Rhiidi Kanwar at this point. This was the beatific child’s first miracle.

Karni grew in beauty, wisdom, and solitude as she performed other miracles, including healing the sick and granting a son to a fellow indigene of Suwap after so many years of mockery. There is more to her good works in her early days than the aforementioned. 


The Tale Of The Kabbas–The Holy Rats 

The Temple of Rats is an enormous abode of over 24 000 rats (also called Kabbas in Hindi). The story is that once, Laxman, the stepson of Karni Mata, fell into lake Kapil Sarovar while attempting to drink water and drowned. When our heroine received the devastating news, she was so distressed and pleaded persistently with Yama, the God of death, to release the soul of Laxman. Eventually, Yama answered her plea, but under the condition that she would receive her stepson as a rat. He also granted her the wish that all her children (followers) whenever they die will reincarnate as rats, and when the rats die, they will come back as humans. Her followers hold the view that as the rats’ population increased, it was an honor to serve them food and treats.

Karni Mata Temple Rats

Where is the famous Karni Mata temple of Rats located? 

The Hindi temple of Rats is a tourist attraction center in the Machla Magra Hills close to the beautiful lake of Doodh Talai in Deshnoke of the Bikaner District of Rajasthan, India. There, people worship the white and black rats and there is quite a story behind that.

In 1538, while returning to Deshnoke, Bikaner district of Rajasthan at age 151, Karni, her troops along with the holy rats halted at a nearby stream for her followers to drink water. She had vanished by the time her supporters returned to look for her, and she was never located. No one knows whether she turned into a rat. This is the reason the Karni Mata Temple of Rats is still standing in Deshnoke City today.


An Overview of The Temple

The temple is an aesthetic glory built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the 15-16th century with marble and silver. A gigantic statue of the Goddess reflects a woman with a trident in one of her hands. They made the front doors of the temple of solid silver. Tourists often see asides from rats, monkeys, and peacocks in the upper part of the temple. Here, all rats are fed with metal bowls of juices, milk, sweets, and grains 

The Temple of rats is an exceptional tourist site and place of veneration. Notably, most tourists freak out when they step on rat excreta, food remnants, or experience rats jumping across their feet. The temple is open from 4 am to 10 pm daily, but it is advisable to visit the holy place of worship in the morning when the rats are fewer and not scurrying around in massive numbers. It is a fun-filled dwelling where the goddess gives good fortune, healing, peace of mind, and tranquility to all who believe. What are you waiting for then? Off to Rajasthan, India, we move. Cheers!


Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!


You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Author