The story behind Karni Mata temple

The land of Rajasthan is doubtlessly known for brave warriors as well as impressive structures such as palaces, forts, and Havelis. It is also a land of spiritual leaders, and one of such Holy Spirit is known as Karni Mata. The temple of Karni Mata located at Deshnok, just 30 kilometers away from Bikaner is big tourist attraction. This temple is also famous as ‘Rat Temple’ for the many rats including white rats.
History of Karni Mata:
Karni is considered as female sage born in Charan Caste in 1387 who is believed as incarnation of Goddess Durga. She is also known as Nari Bai. Karni got married to Depoji Charan but expressed her non-willingness to continue in the matrimonial relation as she wanted to live a spiritual life. She arranged the marriage of Depoji with her younger sister Gulab and soak herself in the worship of Goddess Durga.
After two years she moved with her followers and a herd of cattle to live a nomadic life. In the year 1538 when she was moving back to Deshnok after laying the foundation of Bikaner Fort, she asked the caravan to stop for water near Koliyat at Gadiyala and Girijasar when she suddenly disappeared.
Rat worship:
The rats in Deshnok temple are considered child of Karni Mata and are called kabbas and are worshipped by devotees. According to a legend Karni Mata’s stepson named Laxman drowned in a pond in Kapil Sarovar while attempting to drink water. Then Maa Karni prayed Yama, the god of death, to grant him life. Yama took a softer line and consented to make Laxman and all of Karni mata’s male children reborn as rats. Though there is more stories connected to the temple but this is the most popular one.
Karni Mata is official deity of Royal Family of Jodhpur and Bikaner. For the followers, the blessing of the deity is enough to provide all the things in life.
Temples in Deshnok:
Karni Mata’s followers built many temples in Rajasthan villages. In some of the temples of KarniMata, one can find an idol of the deity while in some temples there is just a footprint of the deity is worshipped. There are two splendid temples of Karni Mata in Deshnok. The temple near railway station was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in 20th century. It houses a museum where life of Karni Mata is displayed in pictures. Another one is about 2 kms from the first temple. This marble temple has a cave where Karni Mata used to worship.
Besides the popular Deshnok temple there are also more temples of Karni Mata at Village Mathania as well as Udaipur at Machla Magra. In the city of Alwar also there is a temple of Karni Mata in the mid of the city.

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