Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hope You Don't Mind Rats



7 January, 2011 – Bikaner and Deshnok, India

If you have a rat phobia, then don't visit Karni Mata, the rat temple of Deshnok. Here, the rats are revered, and locals believe them to be reincarnations of their ancestors. Around 600 families in Deshnok claim lineage from Karni Mata, and that entitles them to be reincarnated as kabas, or rats. They offer food and milk to the rats. Wire covers the open courtyards to keep predators out. It is considered good luck and auspicious to have a rat run over your feet - Jo should be in for a good 2011, then, if you check out the photo below!

An Offering At The Rat Temple
An Offering At The Rat Temple
A man makes an offering of sweet balls at the rat temple of Karni Mata, Deshnok.


The "Watering Hole"
The "Watering Hole"
Lots of sweets, lots of grains, and lots of milk. The rats are well fed at Deshnok's Karni Mata.


Little Content Fatty
Little Content Fatty
One of the residents at Karni Mata rat temple, Deshnok.


So, What Now?
So, What Now?
Hmmm, it is supposed to be good luck to have one of the rats run over your feet, so what does it mean when it climbs your leg? At this point, not sure if Jo or the rat knew what to do! Luckily, it was the rat who decided enough was enough, and turned around and scurried off. It would not have reflected well on us if we had needed to physically hurt the rat to stop it, being revered and worshipped hiere. Karni Mata rat temple, Deshnok.


Don't worry if you come to Bikaner and don't want to see the rats, there are other things to do!

One of the Many Courtyards
One of the Many Courtyards
The fort of Bikaner is really just a series of courtyards and palaces built by successive Maharajahs. Junagarh, Bikaner.


A Laquered Appearance
A Laquered Appearance
Inside Junagarh (the fort) of Bikaner.


Wall Details
Wall Details
Inside Junagarh (the fort) of Bikaner.Inside Junagarh (the fort) of Bikaner.


More of Those Arches
More of Those Arches
Inside Junagarh (the fort) of Bikaner.


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