Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner, Rajasthan.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Its truly happy making to get back to blogging. In my last post, turned out that I posted pictures of 2 of my friends feet without even knowing it. Happy coincidences :) Talking of happy takes me back to Rajasthan and I must share this very beautiful but strange temple we went to. The Karni Mata temple is 30 kms from Bikaner & we went huddled and cold in an autorickshaw to the place. We had heard it was a rat temple - yes, you heard right, I said rat as in the rodents and we were as curious whether we will actually get to see rats scurrying, if we will be able to handle it. Will the rats be fat from all the milk ( we had heard that one of the ways to appease the deity is to feed the rats with milk - ye mera India...) We were just so curious. We were greeted by a very normal though beautiful looking temple from the outside...

Typical Rajasthani colours flame orange & red, stand out against the carved marble facade of the temple
Aaah.. the 1st proof of the rat connection...
Next to the carved Shiva are carved tiny rats- making for a nice design element...hmmm...

On a more serious note, the marble carving was exquisite, here's a sample.
And now for the real point of interest. As we stepping in gingerly into the temple, mentally prepared for a multitude of rats, what we actually saw was many rats feeding from large bowls of milk & they did not look as healthy as we imagined them.
And strangely while something about the vibes in the temple calmed me it emboldened my normally docile & insect hating friend... who now only wanted to be touched by the scurrying rats in the temple (a tiny nibble by any of the temple rats is said to bring good luck to the bitten!!!) so while I was clicking from a safe distance, my friend was trying to get bitten by the rather peaceful temple mice.
Thankfully one of them scurried over her feet before long. And a debate whether it qualified to bring luck ensued.
For some reason a lot of newly wed couples also came to take the blessings of Karni Mata who is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers.
And here is the mildly aggressive devotee who insisted I take a picture of her. All in all a strange but interesting temple experience :)

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