Deshnok Temple, Bikaner

Deshnok Temple, BikanerDeshnok Temple is a pilgrim center where rats rule! It is located in a small village called Deshnok which is situated at a distance of 32 km from the south of Bikaner city. Originally the village was known as Dus-nok whose literal meaning is ten corners. The village was created by combining the ten corners taken from ten villages. The temple is also called Karni Mata temple. Karni Mata is the incarnation of Maa Durga, the goddess of power and victory. The history of this temple dates back to the fourteenth century. It is believed that the goddess lived here in the past and performed numerous miracles. According to the legend the rats here are incarnations of the members of the clan of Karni Mata who lived in Deshnok village in the past.

The entrance of the temple gives a sense of venturing into something royal as it has solid silver doors which are very impressive. They were built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. As you move a little further you will see more doors made of silver. Their panels serve as the canvas for displaying the legends of Karni Mata. The shrine houses an ancient image of the goddess. The temple is carved out in marble and its inner walls are embellished with impressive gold and silver work.

The 600 year old temple is a home to around 20,000 rats that are considered holy by the devotees. These little creatures are the main attraction here. They are nicknamed as Kabbasby the people. Apart from milk and prasad (blessed food) the rats enjoy the respect of the devotees. Thousands of devotees from all over the country throng here to pay homage to the goddess and to see the holy rats.

It is said that Deshnok temple is also an abode of the five white rats which are thought holy as it is believed that they are the incarnations of Karni Mata itself. When you come to pay a visit to the temple keep looking for the white rats and if you happen to see one, then consider yourself blessed.

Surprisingly, the village has never witnessed the outbreak of any rat related disease despite the presence of such a big population of rats. Is it the miracle of goddess of Karni Mata!


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