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“Fun, not for rat phobes”
Review of Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata Temple
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Deshnoke
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Rat Temple Karni Mata Karnimata
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I combined this with a Jeep safari with Jitu Solanki who is a zoologist and owns the Vinayak Guest House. After the Desert Jeep tour we went to the unique (overused term but not in this case) Karni Mata Temple, referred to as the rat temple for obvious reasons. This temple is a very important Hindu temple so be careful not to step on and kill a rat as you wander about. Jitu said something about paying your weight in silver if you killed one.

1  Thank ColoradoVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"good luck"
in 20 reviews
"white rat"
in 64 reviews
"unique experience"
in 18 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 9 reviews
"your feet"
in 29 reviews
"wear socks"
in 6 reviews
"holy place"
in 5 reviews
"small town"
in 5 reviews
"mata temple"
in 4 reviews
"camera fee"
in 4 reviews
"one of a kind"
in 4 reviews
"bikaner city"
in 9 reviews
"railway station"
in 5 reviews
"white marble"
in 4 reviews
"visit this place"
in 5 reviews
"rats running"
in 17 reviews
"walk barefoot"
in 7 reviews

306 - 310 of 635 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2013

I'm from New York City so I know rats. But barefoot?!? Yes, it's a temple and the faithful rush forward with offerings of sweets and grains for the happiest rats in the world. They drink from large pans of milk provided for them. The rats run and play. People walk barefoot among them or sit down on the floor as the rats scamper about. Not much of what I see in India shocks me but this one attraction was too much. I snapped my photos and ran. Still, you have to visit. Deshnoke is only twenty miles from Bikaner on the road to Nagaur. It's free to visit but there is a twenty rupee fee for a camera. Also, the men who check your shoes like a tip.

2  Thank JamesNYC212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

This wasn't on my itinerary for my tour around Rajasthan, but my driver came here to pray and I'm mega-grateful that he brought me with him. It was utterly fascinating!!

It's obligatory to leave shoes outside (they can be safely stored for you opposite the entry gate) but fortunately you could rent slippers at the door. Although they had been worn by others previously, had been walked through the rat temple countless times before, and thus didn't seem particularly appealing, I was grateful. I wouldn't have gone in bare feet, and I was amazed by some tourists who were walking around barefooted in the droppings.

Once inside, the smell was quite overpowering -- and not in a good way. There were rat droppings everywhere, and rats running around freely. There must have been thousands of rats!! The most holy part of the temple is for Indians only, though others can watch from outside. I fully respect that, especially if temple authorities want to keep non-observant people out of this area. However, I was told the reason foreigners aren't allowed in this holiest area because we use toilet paper rather than water after using the loo. If true: how ironic that we're kept out of a holy area because we're considered unclean, when many foreigners would think praying on hands and knees in rat droppings in that holiest area to be disgustingly dirty :-)

Dirty, but very interesting. After seeing the holy inner sanctum, we looked at a pen of rats to the left side of the main gate as you enter. Here we spotted one of the especially holy white rats!! It's supposed to be a great blessing to see the albino rats, who are thought to be the reincarnation of the holy woman the temple is named after and her stepsons. That woman was Karni Mata, who was herself thought to be the incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga. So all those rats running around are considered holy, and some of them are reincarnations of people.

I am usually very interested to see holy places of any faith, and this was no exception. That said, I found it hard to even notice the attractive carvings or architecture as I was too busy dodging the rats and their droppings, and trying not to touch anything. I was ashamed to feel so irked by a place of worship, but it really was filthy and smelt terrible. Afterwards I cleaned my hands, my camera, my feet and my shoes (even though I'd had to leave them outside, it was enough that I'd walked in the vicinity) with antiseptic wipes. I was embarrassed to do this in front of my driver who'd just been praying in the temple, but I felt so dirty after being in that environment that I felt uncomfortable until I'd freshened up.

I wouldn't be in a hurry to rush back, I wouldn't have gone in if I'd had to do so in bare feet, and I'm not keen on rats in the slightest. That said, I'm really glad I saw this place as it gave extra insight into Indian life and culture. It was also fascinating just because it was so out-of-the-ordinary. Unless you're incredibly squeamish, I do recommend a visit.

1  Thank Atheoretical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We visited the place early in the morning while going from Bikaner to Jodhpur to catch our flight. Apart from being a place of worship its an amazing and unique place in the sense that you will find hundreds of rats roaming around the place without any fear.They are busy eating the 'Prasad'(sweets and coconuts etc.) and drinking the milk. Its a totally different experience.

Thank PritiLucknow_India_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 27, 2013

Once I read about the Rat Temple, I knew I had to find a way to include it in our 2-week tour of Rajasthan. Apart from some detail at the entry, the temple itself is not elegant, and it was a mess in some areas with some construction or repairs apparently underway. I was certainly glad I brought some heavy throw-away sox for the experience, but no rats ever got curious about me. They seemed to be busy drinking milk, nibbling coconuts, or tasting the seeds and sweets brought by worshippers. Our guide provided some explanation of the reason for the temple's popularity among the faithful, and it added one more element to our beginning-understanding of Hindu beliefs and traditions. The visit definitely made for great conversation back home. Even my husband, who was incredulous when I told him we had to go here, was pleased with the decision! We certainly don't know any other Americans who have visited here...one reason to come!

1  Thank artichokeannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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