Posted on 08/24/2009

Photo taken on March 24, 2004

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Hindu Temple
Thar Desert
Rat Temple
Durga Goddess
Aerial Rats Protection

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IMG 3569bc Rats are Protected from Aerial Predators

IMG 3569bc Rats are Protected from Aerial Predators
Karni Mata (Rat Temple)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Karni Mata was a female Hindu sage and is worshipped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers; She is an official deity of the royal family of Jodhpur and Bikaner; During her life-time she laid the foundation stone of two of the important forts in Rajputana; She lived an ascetic life, and temples were dedicated to her in her lifetime; The most famous of all of her temples is the temple of Deshnoke, which was created following her mysterious disappearance from her home; The temple is famous for its rats, which are treated as sacred and given protection in the temple. The Karni Mata temple at Deshnoke, 30 km from Bikaner, in its present form was completed in the early 20th century in the late Mughal style by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner; The huge silver gates to the temple, and the marble carvings were also donated by him; Throughout the year pilgrims from around India come to pay religious tribute to Karni Mata at the Deshnok temple; Outside Rajasthan she is respected and loved in areas like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana; During Navratri thousands come to the temple on foot; If one of the rats is killed, it must be replaced with one made of solid gold Sighting a white rat amidst hordes of black rats is considered specially auspicious. According to a local legend, Karni Mata, the 14th century mystic and an incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga, implored, Yama, the god of death to restore to life, the son of a storyteller, and upon his refusal she incarnated the dead son, and all of the storytellers as a rat, under her protection; India Rajasthan Deshnok Rat Temple.