The Karni Mata temple, Deshnok is situated 30 km from Bikaner. The temple is dedicated to an early 15th century mystic, considered to be a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is quite famous for a large number of brown rats running around the temple complex fearlessly. It is believed that the souls of dead Charans (traditional bards, the devotees of Mata) reside in these rats.
It is considered very lucky seeing a white rat or when a rat runs over your foot.During the time of aarti, these rats are offered sweets, grains, etc by the devotees.The thing which strikes everyone with wonder is the presence of thousands and thousands of rats in the temple which freely moved about unscared of anyone Despite the presence of the pilgrims in great numbers. At no time in the past plague broke out here.
There was no incidence of plague at all. People deem this as an miracle of Karanimata. In the whole world this is a unique temple where rats freely move out.
Karni Mata Temple is probably one of the most famous places to visit in Bikaner. This temple is known for its sizable population of rats that are the permanent residents here. Dating back to the 15thcentury, this temple is dedicated to Karni Mata who was the incarnation of Goddess Durga. Legend has it that when Karni Mata’s son died, she requested Yama to restore her son’s life, but Yama refused. So, Karni Mata being the incarnation of Goddess restored the life of her son and declared that from now onwards her family will not face death but be reincarnated in the form of rats. Today, there are about 20,000 rats that live in the temple premises and no doubt attract the attention of many travellers.