Karni Mata Temple | Image Resource : aapnodesh.com
On Tuesday, I woke up early, freshened up, had a cup of tea and was on my way to Karni Mata Temple Bikaner. It was about 36 minutes from the hotel. I had put in a request with the hotel
to book a cab for me and at 4.45am, the cab was outside the hotel, waiting for me.
I was at the temple premises in about 20 minutes. The shops around the temple were open at this early hour in the morning and many devotees were buying worship materials from various shops. There was a huge, open gate, which led to a wide, open area in front of the temple. The sight that met my eyes was something that I least expected to see!
There were thousands of rats scattered everywhere and many of them were feeding on the bowls of rice and milk, supplied by the temple authorities. This is the specialty of the Karni Mata temple. They consider the rats harmless, and in fact, do not hurt these creatures. The temple authorities place vessels of food at several places for the rats. The rats feed on milk, rice and sweets too!
Rats Enjoying Milk at Karni Mata Temple | Image Resource : unseenrajasthan.blogspot.com
The architecture of this Hindu temple is worth mentioning here. The doors, pillars and the walls have beautiful
carvings. The delicate and expensive white marble walls inside the temple felt smooth and cold when I touched it. Legends say that this temple is a dedication to Karniji or Nari Bari, believed to
be an incarnation of Goddess Durga and this is the main
deity here. I was just in time to experience the Mangala Aarti and after offering my prayers, I walked out of the main temple to look at the surroundings.
Though it was summer, the place was cool at this time of the day. By paying a small fee, I could take my camera inside the temple. Though the place would look unhygienic to many devotees and travellers, to me, it was a different experience altogether. Seriously, it is not every day that you see people and mice living in harmony and not running away screaming in terror.
Courtyard of Karni Mata Temple Bikaner | Image Resource : commons.wikimedia.org