You love animals.
They are just so amazing.
Especially furry cuties.
Their little brown eyes melt you. Their fur is so soft, and soothing to run your fingers through. Their wriggly l’il bodies vibrate with excitement whenever they’re near you – they so love scurrying around your legs, rubbing up against you. Oh! And the way their precious little noses twitch makes their sweet whiskers tickle your hand.
Now, some people are animal kissers. Some, not so much. But you… you are a bonified animal smoocher. You can’t help leaning down and planting one on those shiny l’il noses, can you? I know. Me, too.
But not this time.
Not these animals.
I don’t smooch rats.
But some people do.
In the northwest of India, in the tiny city of Deshnoke, there is an enormous temple called Karni Mata. The ‘idols’ of worship in this temple, are quite unique. They are smaller than most idols. They are alive.
And there are thousands of them.
More than 20,000 scamper across the Karni Mata’s ancient marble floors like blankets of wriggling fur, their tails forming live-wire fringe around the edges. These holy rats share food and drink, are kissed and coddled by worshipers at the temple.
Since it is mandatory to remove your shoes before entering the temple, you wade through a sea of squirming rats, feeling their warm bodies, prickly feet and slithering tails as they scuttle over and around your bare feet.
Heavenly, isn’t it?
Maharaja Ganga Singh thought so.
He constructed the temple as a tribute to Karni Mata – the rat goddess.
She came into being in the 14th century when the baby of one of her clansmen died. Failing to bring the child back to life, Karni Mata made a pact with Yama – the god of Death – that all her clansmen would be reincarnated as rats until they could be born back into the clan.
Death, or new life as a rat.
Hmmm, lemme mull that over…NOT!
Yeah. I could enjoy that.☺
Visit the Karni Mata temple in person!
(Warning: Do not remove your shoes before watching these videos!)
I love people who love animals – even rats!
What about you?
Could you walk barefoot through a sea of rats?