Deshnoke – 30 kms from Bikaner
About one hour from Bikaner is the famous Karni Mata Temple. Many people who live in this area of Rajasthan strongly believe in the protective power of Karni Mata. Of course, among tourists it is famous for being one of the very few places in India (or maybe the world) where hundreds of rats are allowed to roam freely within the temple premises and are worshiped.
I will be honest, I am very scared of rats. In fact, I get queasy when I see one. But, I was fascinated by this temple and decided to take the plunge and visit the temple.
Karni Mata a.k.a Rat Temple
We started from Bikaner after breakfast and reached the temple around 9:30am. There weren’t too many people when we reached. After leaving our footwear outside and buying food to offer to the rats, we proceeded inside. What we saw was absolutely fascinating. Groups of rats roaming around freely. Once I let go of fear, none of the rats bothered me… they literally minded their own business!
While we saw hundreds of rats, we did not come across the elusive “white rat”. We spent about half and hour exploring the temple premises and the beautiful stonework within and outside the temple.
Happy and satisfied with our visit, we headed back towards Bikaner and reached well before lunch time.
Time taken for the visit – 2 1/2 to 3 hours which includes travel time to and from Bikaner.
It is an one-of-a-kind temple. If you are visiting Bikaner, then this short detour is worth it.