Bikaner. 30 km south of Bikaner district headquarters, Deshnok is the only temple in the world where there are more than 20 to 25 thousand rats (Rats). Visiting white mice is considered auspicious here. Devotees call these mice by the name of ‘Kaaba’. After Karni Maa’s Jyotirlin, there is uninterrupted worship in the temple and cave for more than six and a half years. It is the only temple in the world that is believed that if someone dies Depavat Charan, he is born as a rat in Karni Mata Temple. Depavat is a family member of Karni Mata. There are thousands of rats in the temple complex. They also have many white rats. According to Janashruti, the desired wish is fulfilled when a white mouse appears. During the Mangala Aarti and Sandhya Aarti in the morning, the procession of rats is worth seeing.
The Karni Mata temple was built in the Rajput style by Maharaja Ganga Singh of the princely state of Bikaner. The silver doors at the main gate of the temple, the gold umbrella for Karni Mata, large silver pliers for the offerings of rats and the white rats are the charm of the grand temple. Karni Mata is also the Kuldevi of Bikaner royal family. White mice are considered to be the vehicle of the mother. That is why devotees have great faith in the white mice in the Deshnok temple. The mice living here are called Kaaba. Because of the presence of these mice, this temple of Shri Karni Devi is also known as the temple of rats.
White rats (Kaaba) are considered very auspiciousThere are more than 20-25 thousand mice living in the entire temple premises. They jump around the devotees on foot, but do not harm anyone. In order to protect these mice from eagles, vultures and other animals, there is a fine mesh on the open places in the temple. It is believed that if a devotee sees a white mouse here, it is considered very auspicious. The abundance of mice can be gauged from this, that the devotees have to keep walking forward, not by taking their next step to walk but instead of dragging them on the ground. People reach in front of the idol of Karni Maa by dragging the steps in the same way.
The cave is six and a half century old
Devotees believe that Karani Devi was the incarnation of Jagadamba, the real mother. In Navaratri, there is an influx of devotees in the temple. At present, in the place where this magnificent marble temple is, mother lived in a cave about six and a half hundred years ago and offered prayers to her deity. This cave is still located in the temple complex. After Karni Mata’s Jyotirlin, her idol was installed in this cave. It is said that the state of Bikaner and Jodhpur was established only with the blessings of Maa Karani.
Story and history of Karni Mata
Riddhabai Bani Karani
Vikrami Samvat 1444 Ashwini Shukla Saptami Accordingly, in the year 1387, the sixth daughter was born to Mehaji Charan in Suwap village of Marwar. She was named Riddha Bai. It is popularly believed that Riddha Bai had fixed her crooked finger by touching her aunt during her teenage years. Then aunt called him Karni. Karni means miraculous.
Grihastha renounced after marriage
Karni was married by her father to Deepoji Charan of Sathika village. Karni clearly said that he is not interested in marriage and he got his younger sister Gulab married to Deepoji. Separated himself from the householder. During that time, due to the famine in Marwar, Dipoji camped in a village in Janglu. Jangloo is a western region of Rajasthan. Presently, this area is known as Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh and Ganganagar. At that time, Kanji ruled in this area.
Karani Mata to an ordinary woman
Kanji’s soldiers stopped Karani and his cattle from drinking water. Kanji ordered Karni to leave his kingdom. Karni said that if he puts his worship box in the bullock cart, then she will leave the state. Kanji did not succeed in this even after lakhs of attempts. Karni drew a line on the ground and told Kanji that this was his lifeline. If he crosses it will be killed. Despite the warning, Kanji crossed him and was killed after some time. Karni declared Kanji’s younger brother Ridmal Rao as the king of Janglu. All this incident made Karani a woman from ordinary woman to Karani.
Helped rao jodha
Later, Rao Ridmal started working as a commander-in-chief near Rana Mokal of Mewar state. After Mokal, his son Rana Kumbha got Ridmal murdered due to court conspiracy. Ridmal’s son Rao Jodha was forced to flee after saving his life from there. He reached Karni Mata in Jangloo with just seven horsemen. Karni Mata helped him in bad times and then motivated him to gather power. He gradually began to occupy the territories of Marwar and after 15 years, he regained Mandor in 1453.
Laid the foundation of Mehrangarh
A few years later, Jodhaa decided not to consider Mandore as very safe, to build a new capital on the hill of Chidituk, about nine kilometers from there. Jodha had deep reverence in Karni Mata. On 12 May 1459, Karni Mata came from Deshnok to lay the foundation of Mehrangarh Fort on the hill of Chidituk.
Help of Bikaji too
According to Jan Shruti, angry with Rao Jodha, his younger son Bika left Mehrangarh in 1465. Becca with her Lashkar of 100 horsemen reached the same Janglu where Karani Mata had helped her grandfather and father again. On the advice of Karni Mata, Becca began to occupy the areas around Jangloo. This is the same Jangloo which is mentioned in the Mahabharata period as the Jangal country.
The foundation of Bikaner Fort laid
Gradually, the small republics under Bika’s influence accepted his subjugation. In a few years, Becca began to rule over 25 hundred villages. After occupying the villages, Becca felt the need for a new capital. He called Karni Mata from Deshnok in 1485 to lay the foundation of the fort in Bikaner. In a way, Karni Mata played an important role in establishing two big Rajput houses of Marupradesh.
Depavat Baran becomes a priest
Karni Mata’s sister Gulab and Deepoji Charan had four boys. Karni Mata loved these four like her children. The descendants of these four boys were known as Depavat Charan. After Karni Mata’s departure, these people became the priests of their temple. Even today there are four locales of Depavat bards in Deshnok. Karani Mata had established ten thousand bigha ‘oran’ (place of grazing of animals) in Deshnok for the promotion of human and animal and birds.
How to reach Karni Mata Temple
There is a temple near Deshnok railway station located on Bikaner-Jodhpur rail route. Apart from this, the Deshnok Karni Mata temple can easily be reached from Bikaner in half an hour by taxi, jeep, bus, etc.