Karni Mata Mandir, Deshnoke, Rajasthan


Karni Mata was a female Hindu sage born in the Charan caste and is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers. This temple is near to Bikaner in Nokha tehsil. According to a local legend, Karni Mata, the 14th century mystic and an incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga, implored Yama, the god of death, to restore the life of the son of one of her storytellers.

Karni Mata was a female Hindu sage born in the Charan caste and is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers. This temple is near to Bikaner in Nokha tehsil.

Karni Mata Mandir, Deshnoke, Rajasthan

History of Karni Mata Mandir


According to a local legend, Karni Mata, the 14th century mystic and an incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga, implored Yama, the god of death, to restore the life of the son of one of her storytellers. Yama refused, and Karni Mata incarnated the dead son and all of the storytellers as a rat, under her protection.
It is said that Karni Mata was born on Oct.2, 1387 in the village of Suwap in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. Her father was Mehoji Charan and mother was Dewal Devi. At the time of birth Karni Mata was named "Ridhu Bai". She got married with Depoji Charan, But unfortunately this become no longer. According to a local resident of Nokha, she earned the honorific name Karni at age six by miraculously curing her aunt.

About Karni Mata temple


The Karni Mata's Temple is situated in the centre of a beautiful courtyard, the outer boundary wall of which has been constructed like a beautiful wall fort. The boundaries are built very high with four ornamented pillars and the provision of a huge platform for the guards to protect the miraculous temple.Bikaner's ruler Ganga Singh had the whole temple built in marble. The domes of the temple are made of silver and gold. The manadap and the panels above the image are also golden. The elaborate works on the main gate of the temple is a tribute to the fine craftsmanship of the artisans of those days. n the main shrine, the image of the goddess is placed with holy things at her feet. Surrounded by rats, Karni Mata is holding a trishul (trident) in one of her hands. The image of Karni Mata is 75 cms tall, decked with a mukut (crown) and a garland of flowers. On her either side, images of her sisters are placed. Karni Mata Temple attracts numerous tourists and pilgrims throughout the year, due to its unique presiding beings.

White Rats in temple


The temple has around 20,000 rats that are fed, protected and worshipped. Many holes can be seen in the courtyard of this temple. In the vicinity of these holes, one can see rats engaged in different activities. The Rats can be seen here eating from huge metal bowls of milk, sweets and grains. To make the holy rats safe, wires and grills are sited over the courtyard to avoid the birds of prey and other animals.

It is regarded auspicious, if a rat (kaba) runs across one's feet. Even, a glimpse of kaba (white rat) is considered promising and fruitful. Twice a year, a festival is celebrated in the honor of Karni Mata. A grand fair is organized during this time and people come here to seek the blessings of the Goddess. It is also believed that after death of charan(a caste) of 'deepawat gotra' they become rat and vice-versa.

Rats in Karni Mata Mandir, Deshnoke, Rajasthan

Some other temples near Karni Mata Mandir


- Nehdi ji Mandir, Deshnoke
- Jambhoji Temple, Mukam

How to reach at temple


Deshnok is only 30 KM from Bikaner (by road). Bikaner is about 450 Km by road from Delhi, 350 Km from Jaipur and 350 Km from Jodhpur. The condition of the roads is good. One can easily reach Rat Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Rajasthan.


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