Loaded with architectural gems along with those artsy and really cool places hidden among the vibrant streets and bazaars, Bikaner is truly an enchanting city situated in the heart of Rajasthan. A kaleidoscopic blend of cultural and timeless traditions, it has everything you can imagine to make your trip worthwhile with lots of great memories to cherish.
Talking about places to visit in Rajasthan; one peculiar temple that will pique your curiosity and spike your attention is the Karni Mata Temple situated in Deshnoke, Bikaner. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Karni Mata, an incarnation of Maa Durga. However, more than the Goddess, this temple is majorly famous as the ‘temple of rats’. Yes, you heard it right, this is because here you will find about 20,000 black rats who are the permanent residents of this shrine and are revered by devotees flocking the temple all year round.
Apart from the presence of these rats, the temple is also famous for the Karni Mata Festival aka Karni Mata Fair held twice a year during Navratri time that is during April-May and October-November; the one happening in the months between April and May being more extravagant and vivid. It takes place twice in a year during Ashwin Shukla Ekam to Ashwin Shukla Dashmi and Chaitra Shukla Ekam to Chaitra Shukla Dashmi. There are no exact dates of the festival as it varies as per traditional Hindu calendar. The festival is held at Deshnok near Bikaner.
Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, Bikaner has immense religious significance. Popular as the “temple of rats”, this temple is home to 20,000 rats who are worshipped and revered by the devotees. These rats are also known as ‘kabbas.’ There are a few white rats amidst the majority population of black rats. Sighting of white rats is considered as very auspicious. It is believed that people who get to see white rats can look forward to transforming their dreams into a reality. The Karni Mata Festival is celebrated with great pomp and show, immense devotion and reverence to Karni Mata. People from far and wide areas visit the temple during Navratri when the festival is held at the temple. They pay their respects to the deity and seek her blessings. Several folklores and legendary stories are associated with this temple. The significance of this temple is evident in the fact that it is visited by thousands of devotees every year and the number is constantly increasing.
As this festival begins, the idol of Goddess Karni Mata is decorated with a golden crown, garlands, embellished clothes, and intricate jewelry. The gates of the temple are opened from 4:00 am for the devotees. After this, the priests perform all the ceremonial rituals and offer Bhog (Prasadam) to the deity. Due to its traditional and cultural significance, this fair attracts a considerable crowd from all across the country.
This fair is organized by the local committee of the temple itself. Devotees especially come to the shrine and offer their prayers for fulfilling their wishes and leading a prosperous life. Besides the religious sentiments associated with the fair, one can also enjoy many cultural and religious programs.
The fair is also the best place to buy colourful trinkets to use as home decor or souvenirs. Several shops sell pooja samagri that devotees love to buy for their home temples. Some of the major things available in the shops are diyas, agarbatti, mata ki chunri, and more.
Deshnok, Bikaner is easily accessible by major modes of transportation. The roads are well-metalled and easy to access. Here are the travel details on how you can reach here by the following means of public transportation and attend the Karni Mata Mela in Bikaner.
Deboard at Jodhpur Airport (JDH) situated at an approximate distance of 200-250 km. The airport is well routed with nearby cities and states with overall good flight connectivity. Once off your flight, take any local public transport available like a cab and travel to your desired location.
If planning to travel via train then you can consider deboarding at Lalgarh Railway Station (LGH) or Bikaner Junction (BKN) located at an approximate distance of 32 and 30 km respectively. Both the stations are well connected from nearby cities and states. Here is how you can reach here from the following places.
Depending upon your geographical location, that is to say, if you are residing in any nearby regions then planning a road trip to Bikaner can be a fairly good option. State-run buses/ private buses are easily available from nearby towns and cities at fairly affordable prices. You can also consider traveling via your own vehicle or hiring a private cab as well.
Ques 1. When is Karni Mata Fair organised?
Ans 1. Karni Mata Fair is organised during Navratri. It takes place twice in a year during Ashwin Shukla Ekam to Ashwin Shukla Dashmi and Chaitra Shukla Ekam to Chaitra Shukla Dashmi.
Ques 2. Why is Karni Mata Temple also known as the rat temple?
Ans 2. Karni Mata Temple is also known as the rat temple because of its whopping rat population somewhere around 20,000 residing in the temple premises. The majority of rats are black but there are a few white rats too. Sighting of white rats is considered very propitious as these are considered as incarnations of Goddess Karni Mata and her four sons.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.