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Rajputana Homes
Swaroop Rathore

Khamma ghani/ Hello/ Namaste, i am here to take you for a beautiful journey. I made this blog to introduce you to Rajputana, its vast traditio...

Visit Rajasthan

Karni Mata Deshnok

Khamma Ghani/ Namastey and Jai karnni Maa to every reader. Earlier this month I got chance to plan a road trip to a very Famous place in Rajputana (Rajasthan), the temple of “Deshnokh” also known as “Karni Mata” temple. Before I start the tale of my journey smiley, let me share some information about the place.

 

The temple was built by Ganga Singh of Bikaner (who also gifted silver doors for the temple), the temple architecture is highly influenced by Mogul art of construction, and the use of white marble is remarkable. Initially there were no idols but just footprints, but now the temple has a sacred sanctum, an idol where she holds a “Trishul’’.

 

The temple is dedicated to Karni Mata who is official deity of Jodhpur and Bikaner royal family. Karni Mata is also worshiped by the people of the Charan caste as she was born in Charan family of village Suwap in Rajasthan, Date of birth said to be 2nd October 1387. She was child of Mehoji Charan and his wife Deval Devi (she is said to be their 7th child), she was given the name Ridhubai. The tale of birth of karni mata goes like this, her mother wanted to abort the baby but Goddess Durga showed up in her dreams and informed that the child is an incarnation of herself. The name Karni was given to the goddess because of her curing power; she cured her relative who was said to be suffering from a deadly disease when she was just 6 years old.

Karni Mata was married to Depoji Charan of Sathika village, she expressed her husband that she was interested in remaining celibate all her life and offered him to marry her younger sister. She then moved on to nomadic life with her followers and cattle herd. She is said to have been seen last at Deshnok where she mysteriously disappeared at the age of 151 years.  One of the local tales suggest that after her death she became a rat, since then the people of Charan caste believe that once they die they will be reincarnated as rat and vice versa, when a rat dies it will be reincarnated as a human being.

 

According to another tale, when Karni Mata’s stepson got drowned in Kapil sarovar, Karni Mata implored Yamraj (The god of death) to revive him. Yamaraj then permitted Laxman and all other Male children of Karni Mata to be reincarnated as rats.  Other local legend for the rats is, an army of 20000 men deserted a battle and came to Deshnoke, Karni Mata saved their lives and turned them into rats and offered them to stay at the temple, the soldiers accepted the offer and promised to serve Karni Mata eternally.

 

The rats at the temple are called “Kabaa”; many people from every corner of the country come here to pay their respect, the “Kabba” also attract tourists from around the world. The consumption of food nibbled by the rats is considered to be “honor”, there has been no outbreak of any epidemic in Bikaner in spite of these many rats. It is believed that Karni Mata has blessed this place with prosperity, peace and good health.  

 

Out of all “Kabaa” there are a few white “Kabbaa” considered to be manifestation of Karni Mata herself and her four sons. To get a sighting of them is considered to be a special blessing. If by any chance a rat gets killed by someone it has to be replaced with a gold or silver Khaba of same size, shape, height and weight.

 

Coming back to my trip:

Our journey started from Nagour city of Rajputana (Rajasthan), we started in morning to reach the temple before the desert sand starts to heat up. The journey from Nagour to the temple takes about 1Hour 30 Minutes (you can opt a route from Bikaner, which takes around 30 Minutes, Both Nagour and Bikaner cities are well connected with railways and other means of transport). After an hour’s journey we reached town of Nokha, it is famous for its silver artefacts, do take time to visit the place I am sure you will find many things to spend money on (will cover the city and its specialities in coming blog).

The route we chose was great for driving (thanks to the government for good road). We had such a great time while our trip that I completely forgot about the “Kabaa” (the rats) smiley, once we reached the temple it was a great sight to see. The shop owners are great help when you need to buy various things for the rituals or just want to safe keep your footwear which is not allowed inside the temple. Once we cleared the security point and entered the premises I was astonished by the beauty of the temple, we started walking towards inner building and got a first glimpse of the “kabaa” (rats) I was scared to deathJ, but everyone else were ok with them as time passed in the temple premises I too got used to them and was not feeling scared any more. 

The temple is really a place to see, it’s beautiful from outside and inside as well. The use of marble in the gates as well as in the temple building is so astonishing that you will require a whole day to admire it. The beautiful paintings and the artwork on stone also make you stay there for a long time. There was a long queue of people who came to get a glimpse of the goddess and pay homage; soon we got a chance to do the same. We stayed there for a couple of hours and came outside. There are many shops outside selling souvenirs, I too bought some souvenirs for my family members and friends back home. The journey was awesome and will recommend everyone to pay a visit. 

 

Below are the timings of the temple and some of the best times in the year to visit the temple.  

    

Timings

                      Openening Time        Closing Time

Summer         Morning 4:00 AM        Night 9:00 PM

Winter            Morning 5:00 AM        Night 9:00 PM

 

Karni Mata Aarti Timing

 

Aarti Type                     Summer                       Winter

Mangala Aarti           Morning 4:30 AM          Morning 5:00 AM

Bhog Aarti                Morning 8:00 AM          Morning 8:00 AM

Shringar Aarti           Evening 3:45 PM         Evening 3:45 PM

Sandhya Aarti           Evening 7:00 PM         Evening 6:00 PM

Shayan Aarti             Night 9:00 PM             Night 9:00 PM

 

Two types of offerings are made at Karni Mata Mandir :

 

Dwar-Bhent : For the priests and workers of the Temple.

Kalash-Bhent : For the development, renovation and maintenance of the Temple.

 

Karni Mata Fair, Deshnok, Rajasthan

You can get a chance to visit Karni Mata Fair twice in a year :

 

March to April  : The first and larger fair is held in March–April during the Navratras from Chaitra Shukla Ekam to Chaitra Shukla Dashmi.

 

September to October :  The second fair is held in September–October, also during the Navratras, from Ashvin Shukla to Ashwin Shukla Dashmi.

 

During Navratri you could see thousands of people traveling to the temple from long distances by foot.

 

Some tips for your visit :

 

  • Ask for a ticket to take picture inside the premises, they tend to get angry and fine you if you do not follow.
  • Make your dress selection in line with the local’s beliefs, cover your body.
  • Make sure you don’t step on the rats or hit them.

 

So when you are in Rajputana (Rajasthan) next time don’t forget to give time to the spiritual retreat of Rajputana smiley.......do write to me if you have any query at swaroop89@gmail.com.