There is a little town deep in India’s Thar desert, called Deshnoke. I was around as I was exploring the desert area of Rajasthan with many different traditions, comparing to what I was expecting. The agricultural life, the difficulties of this arid area and the remote access there, are a combination that made those people and especially this trip different.


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India’s diversity is unique. There are so many different and strange things about their tradition that you can never stop finding out interesting facts about India. When I read about that temple I organised the visit to it despite my hygiene worries. In Deshnoke near the rail lines, there is a little temple, dedicated to Karni Mata, a Hindu goddess that is worshiped especially in Rajasthan and people visit the temple from all over India. 20.000 holy rats called Kabbas live in the temple. According to the folklore tradition, there are two stories about the rats – the one is that all of the children were born as rats and the other says that those 20.000 rats used to be soldiers.

In Deshnoke near the rail lines, there is a little temple dedicated to a Hindu goddess Karni Mata

Before entering you have to take off your shoes. I had open wounds from trekking so I got the permission to enter wearing socks. Everybody was staring at me inside…

20 000 holy rats called Kabbas live in the temple

Some pilgrims drink the milk from their bowls

According to the folklore tradition, there are two stories about the rats

One is that all of the children were born as rats

And the other says that those 20 000 rats used to be soldiers

I could find rat images are among the gods on the carvings of the door

Rats were everywhere

Offerings – rat food are sold outside of the temple