one of the 6 main towns on the tourist circuit in rajasthan is bikaner, a small town in the north of the state. it’s less touristy than the other five and that is part of its draw, however unfortunately we’re on a tight schedule and there’s so much to see in india, that we didnt really have time to check it out. but, we absolutely couldnt resist stopping there for one day anyways because nearby, in the tiny village of Deshnok is the Karni Mata Temple.
when we walked up to the temple, there was a large sign out front claiming that this temple just might possibly be the “8th wonder of the world”. although this seemed like quite an exageration, i gotta say that this might be the most unique temple i’ve ever heard of. that’s because the temple is dedicated to rats. yes, that’s right, rats. The story, as far as i can understand, is that a hindu god brought all dead storytellers back to life as rats, mainly to piss off another god. so at this temple, rats have free reign and they are *everywhere*.
outside the temple, when we took off our shoes, a tiny rat scuttled by.. and then we walked in. everywhere we looked there were rats. hundreds of them.. maybe even more. they ran around across the floors, they drank from little bowls of milk set out for them, and they swarmed and hopped all over the fences. we saw huge piles of rats swarming over each other trying to get at food, and we even saw rats “boxing” with each other while standing on their hind legs and throwing punches. i realize that for some people this might be their worst nightmare, but luckily i have no fear of rats. we read that it’s good luck if a rat scampers across your feet, which happened several times to us, and supposedly it’s very very good luck if you see a white rat. after wandering around for a bit, we got to see one of those when someone else pointed it out to us.
i was so glad that we ended up trecking all the way out here even if it was just to see only one thing. i’ve seen sooo many temples in my life now… big temples, small temples, intricate temples, colorful temples… but never anything like this. it was kind of like a scene from some crazy action flick where all you see is rats everywhere you look. “8th wonder of the world, eh?” i thought to myself as we walked out… quite possibly!
also, here are the few photos that i took at jaisalmer and Deshnok