The iconic city of Bikaner in Rajasthan is much more than just legendary forts and camel safari. It has a unique temple in the town of Deshnok - the Karni Mata Temple (or the Karni Mata Rat Temple) Yes, you heard it right, the Rat Temple. The temple is surely one of strangest attractions of India as it houses thousands of rats which are worshipped by devotees here.
Located some 30 km south of Bikaner, the Karni Mata temple is dedicated to Goddess Karni Mata who belonged to the Charin clan. As per local legends and tales, the goddess lived young and beautiful for 150 years and after death, became a rat. Thus, the followers of the Charin have a strong faith in rats and see them as their ancestors and next reincarnation after death, which is why rats are worshipped here.
The 15th-century Karni Mata Temple was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. Marble is used extensively in building of the beautiful face of the temple and a pair of silver doors are present inside the temple complex. Devotees and rats (some 20,000 in number) can be seen here right through the year. In fact, the rats here are worshipped and protected, and not to forget, they are fed.