Travels

The temple of rats in India

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A couple of days ago Quique left us a video with the curious images of a temple dedicated to rats, although he could not visit it when he passed through the area because a camel trekking was waiting for him in the desert. But nevertheless, two years later I was there and yes I could approach to see it (deserts and camels I had tried them a few months before in the Gobi) and I take advantage now to tell it.


The temple was built by the Maharaja Ganga Singh at the beginning of the 20th century in the late Mughal style, in honor of Karni Mata. One of the versions of the Hindu legend tells about its origin, that Karni Mata, an incarnation of the fourteenth century of Durga, asked the God of Death, Yama, to return the life of the son of a grieving storyteller. When Yama refused, Karni Mata in revenge reincarnated all the narrators killed in rats, leaving Yama dispossessed of his human souls.

The sacred rats (called kabas), which even have holes in the walls to easily access some rooms. The faithful, in addition to praying in front of the altar, they leave food on the floor (and there they compete with the pigeons to put something in their mouths) or pour milk into containers whose edges show the rats to drink.

The transfer of Hindus and tourists is constant, but the rats seem more shy than one expected and if you get too close to them, they move away. Although if you stay still and you are an obstacle in your path, you will notice the tingling when you are running, almost indifferent, above your bare feet (Naturally, as in any other Hindu or Buddhist temple, barefoot at the entrance is mandatory), which, a priori, not everyone in the sterilized West can endure without taking a leap accompanied by the ensuing shout.

Holy and venerated or not, I observed that many of the rats presented in their bodies unequivocal signs of having participated in fights (I do not know if it is endemic in these animals or it was a specific phenomenon), with bare areas of skin and the occasional wound.

As if you were looking for Wally, look up, because if you are able to distinguish a white rat (I attest that there are), the Hindus say it is a sign of good luck. I saw one (I admit that a visitor pointed it out to me) but the next day I didn't play the lottery. However, one month later one of the girls I visited with the temple became my impromptu nurse when we both met in Delhi, the day before my trip to Yangon, with stopover and night stay on the floor of the Bangkok airport, since My diarrhea dehydrated me.

If not for the serum and its care, the next 24 hours would have been a authentic nightmare instead of a slight discomfort (thanks Monica!).

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