Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
Location of Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
The Bikaner - Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple tour is one of the most popular tours from Bikaner, associated with the city. On an excursion from the city, one can visit a number of fascinating tourist spots and the trip to Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple is one of them.
Deshnok is actually a village 30km south of Bikaner along the Jodhpur road. A visit to Deshnok's fascinating temple of Karni Mata, an incarnation of Durga, is not far for squeamish. Here the holy rodents are considered to be incarnations of the storytellers, and run riot over the temple complex.
About Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata lived in the 14th century and performed many miracles during her life-time. When her youngest son Lakhan drowned Karni Mata ordered Yama the god of Death to bring him back to life. Yama replied that he was unable to do this, but that Karni Mata is an incarnation of Durga, could restore Lakhan's life. This she did, and decreed that members of her family would no longer die, but would be incarnated as kabas (rats), and these kabas would returns as members of her family. There are around 600 families in Deshnok who claim both decent from Karni Mata and that they will be reincarnated as kabas.
The Karni Mata temple is thronged not only by the Rajasthanis. Rather, devotees from all over India and even abroad pay a visit to the temple. At the time of Navaratri, a fair is held at the temple. Devotees from places far and wide flock to the temple at that time, some even on foot. Day by day, the faith in Karni Mata is increasing, attracting more and more devotees to the place. Whenever the wishes of the devotees get fulfilled, they offer silver and gold to the goddess at the temple.
How The Rats Became Holy at Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
The story goes that Karni Mata once tried to restore the dead child of a storyteller back to life but failed because Yama, the god of death, had already accepted his soul and re-incarnated him in human form. Karni Mata, famed for her legendary temper, was so inflamed by her failure that she announced that no one from her tribe would fall into Yama's hands again. Instead, when they died, all of them would temporarily inhabit the body of a rat before being reborn into the tribe. Therefore, the rats are considered to be incarnations of storytellers and are much revered.
Other Attractions of Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
One of the main reasons for the popularity of the Bikaner - Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple tour is the beautiful structure of the temple. There is a facade cut out of marble with solid silver doors donated by Maharaja Gaj Singh. Across the doorway to the inner sanctum are the repousse (raised relief) silver doors - one panel shows the goddess with her holy charges at her feet.
An image of goddess is enshrined in the sanctum. There are special holes around the temple courtyard to fascinate the rats' movements, and a wire grille has been placed over the courtyard to prevent the birds of prey and other predators consuming the holy rodents.
It is considered quite auspicious to have a kaba run across your feet. White kabas are quite rare, albeit there are one or two at the temple and sightseeing one augurs well for your spiritual progress.
Within the city, rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the means of transport available.
Visiting Hours of Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
4:00 A.M.- 10:00 P.M.(Daily). The best time to visit Bikaner is during the winter months from November to February. Winter months are pleasant enough for long stays. The summer months are best avoided for visiting Bikaner.
How to Get at Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata can be reached easily from Bikaner airport and Bikaner railway station. It is connected all major places by a wide network of roads.
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