Karni Mata – Temple of Rats

Temple of  Karni Mata is located at a distance of 31 KM from Bikaner. By the side of state highway No 89 , this temple is famous for its rats. Without any fear from anyone rats here enjoy the full freedom and drink milk inside the temple campus. The temple’s current exterior was built in the early 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh. It replaced a 19th-century structure, which had replaced an older courtyard. The innermost temple is hundreds of years old. Karni Mata is considered as Avataar of Maa Durga, Maa Sheronwali. Karni Mata was a female Hindu  sage born in the Charan caste and is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga in Deshnok, Bikaner, Rajasthan.

 Karni Mata was born on 2nd October 1387 in Suwap, Rajasthan. She was the 7th child of Mehoji Charan and his wife Deval Devi. Her real name was Ridhubhai. When Karni Mata’s mother wanted to abort the baby she simply could not. Goddess Durga showed up in her dreams and informed that the child is an incarnation of herself. When Ridhubhai was just 6, she cured her relative off of a deadly disease, hence she was known as Karni. At a very young age she was married off to a wealthy man-Dipoji Charan of the village of Sathika around AD 1415 but did not live a conventional “married life.” She was not interested in worldly affairs. She desired to live a saint’s life. Karni put forth a proposal to marry her younger sister Gulab, and subsequently processed with it. Goddess Karni Mata came from Charan clan. She lived for 150 years and remained young and beautiful. After her death, she became a rat. The Charan clans believe that once they die, they too will be reincarnated as a rat and subsequently, when a rat dies, it will be reincarnated as a human again.

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