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A temple for rats
Scenes from Famous rat temple, Deshnuk, India
Rats represent gods here
In India, everything is worshipped.It is said in Bhagavad Gita that god is present in everything. This is believed and expressed by Indian people in a very fascinating way , sometimes. Here , at one place or the other, everything is worshipped-different animals and plants. While cows and oxen are worshipped in every part of India, some animals are worshipped in a few or even only one place only.
BUT RATS ARE WORSHIPPED AT ONLY ONE PLACE- THAT IS , DESHNUK, NEAR BIKANER, IN RAJASTHAN.
DESHNUK, is a village at about 50 k.ms. from famous bikaner city in Rajasthan .The goddess worshiiped in this temple is -KARANI MATHA, or , the mother Karani.It is said that this goddess blessed that family which laterr founded the kingdom of Bikaner as a result of her blessing.Even now, the successors of royal family of Bikaner take regular trips to this temple to pay their respects to this goddess. The marble front fcade of the temple is quite fascinating with beautiful casrvings.
It is said that the original temple was built in 12th century a.d. ,but it flourished only after the rise of Bikaner royal state.The front facade may be just 80 years old.
Rats are worshipped here and looked after with care as it is believed that they are loved by goddess Karani matha. Nobody is afraid of them here, nor anybody hurts them. They are given sumptuous milk and other eatables offered to goddess.
kARANI MATHA IS THE GODDESS OF THE POPULAR GODDESS HERE. Annual festival takes place once in ayear, when people from all over the state pour into this small town.
HOW TO GO
If you want to visit this temple You can come from Jaipur to Ajmer and then to Deshnuk village. Bus from Ajmer brings you here.If you are visiting Bikaner, then it is still easier-just one hour drive from that city. Busses are frequently available from Bikaner.
Tradition of communal integration
It is frequently thought in western countries that India is a victim of communal wars as it has nurtured so many religions from the past. But none of them know that India has developed so many inbuilt traditions which have created a communal hormany in country of cultural pleurality.That is prevailing at Deshnuk also.
Here, person who makes 'Aarathi' or dedicating of burning oil lights at the end of puja is performed by a barber. And, the cotten threads for these oil lights( called- batthies) are submitted by a muslim. the priests are- Rajaputs! Annual chariot festival is held in the month of September, during the festival of Dashara.
VISIT.BUT, BEWARE OF YOUR SOCKS AND BAGS, DO NOT KEEP THEM ONTHE GROUND.