An article from Traveling Pat!
Patricia is a regular contributor to this blog. She has an adventurous spirit with a love for travel. Follow along with Pat as her journey takes her around the world.
A Re-Visit to India
Possibly some of you might remember that recently I was in India. At one point on my journey my camera conked out and I was unable to send you any pictures of Karni Mata Temple, otherwise known as the HOLY RAT TEMPLE.
Just to re-cap a bit…Legend has it that Karni Mata an incantation of the God Durga, asked Yama the God of Death to restore to life the son of a grieving storyteller. Yama refused because he had already re-incarnated him. Karni Mata was furious at her failure so she cut a deal with Yama that no one would fall into his hands again. Instead they would be re-born as rats before being re-born back into their tribe.
It was smoking hot the day we went there (48C) and I swear I almost got 2nd degree burns running barefoot over the zoiling cement that led to the inside of the temple. It was UNBELIEVABLE! 20,000 rats live there and trust me this is not a big place. The furry little varmints are everywhere….scurrying along the floors, railings, walls and crawling all over people. (The locals live in harmony with the rats) There were dead ones shoved into piles and some lying around dying… Masses of rat crap all over Yuck!! We weren’t doing Canada proud as the whole time we were screeching and flinching and jumping around. A young man took my hand and told me to “no lift feet” It is considered auspicious if one runs across your toes.
Inside the temple the rats are fed grains, milk and coconuts shells from giant bowls. None of the rats try to run away and interestingly enough no one ever sees the babies.
It was kind of a creepy place and not for everyone (maybe an understatement) but I’m glad I got to see it.
Thank you Traveling Pat!
My favorite part is the smiles and laughter on the family’s faces That is what it is all about!