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Bikaner Day 2 - A visit to the Rat Temple !!

Bikaner Travel Blog

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The entrance to the rat temple

It was and early rise for me as I wanted to catch the sunrise.  I had the best nights sleep in days, the bed was the least comfortable as it was just foam and blankets but I slept like a log. The cameleers were already up and about preparing breakfast so I said good morning to them and climbed to the top of a small rise, sat and waited for the sun to come up.  It was so peaceful, no horns, no traffic it was wonderful and I savoured every moment.  The sun took ages to come up and it was a little disappointing compared to the sunset the previous evening.  Others started to stir below so I went down and joined them.  I sat in the cooking hut for a while and warmed my hands over the stove because it was pretty cold outside.  After breakfast it was the hour ride back to civilisation.

The holy rodents enjoying milk offerings
  We took the scenic route the day before and took the short direct route going back.  I rather enjoyed my ride back, I was out in front leading the way and my cameleer gave me the reins so I sat and dreamed I was riding through the desert all by myself !  My backside was getting sore though I had to sit on my fleece for extra padding ! it didn’t stop the blister I ended up with !  Finally we reached our destination and we said goodbye to our cameleers and headed back to the hotel.  After a bit of a rest and a shower we all met up again for our trip to the rat temple !  this I was looking forward too, I was really curious as to what this rat temple was all about.  The rat temple was at Deshnok some 30k’s away so to get there we had private taxi cars.
Open courtyard of the rat temple
  After a lovely drive through the desert countryside we arrive at Deshnok.  The rat temple is home to holy rodents  that are worshipped by pilgrims a story of how the rat temple came to be dates back to the 14th century.  No shoes were allowed in the temple so it wasn’t a place for the squeamish.  I decided to go barefoot into the temple while others opted to keep socks on, I thought it was easier to clean your feet with wet wipes than have to scrub a pair of socks.  We walked through the decorative gate into an open courtyard and ahead of us was an enclosed temple which houses the inner sanctum where pilgrims go to get anointed. To the right of the gate was a terrace and here I watched the  the holy rodents drinking milk out of a platter.
Rats drinking the milk inside the rat temple
  Locals seemed to be scrambling to look through a doorway as there was apparently a white rat inside which supposed to bring you good luck when you see one !  I tried to grab a peek but locals are so intent on getting a glimpse of this white rat you just got shoved out the way.  So off I wonder around the courtyard into the small temple.  I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing, rats everywhere, I didn’t even stop to think what I was treading in ! but there seem to be a lot of yellow food like stuff on the ground which later I find out is sugar balls (holy food offerings)that they feed the rats.   I went into  see the inner sanctum but it was packed with pilgrims all scrambling to get anointed.  It was in here that I saw a white rat and then one ran over my foot ! so twice the luck in one day so now I await to win the lottery ! it was a fascinating place and I don’t think I would find anything like this anywhere else in the world so I’m glad I came.
The temple where the inner sanctum is
  I don’t think a visit to Bikaner is complete without a trip to the rat temple.   So after the rat temple we head back to the hotel and the afternoon was free.  A chance to catch up on some rest a phone call to the husband and  I ended up in the shop next door to the hotel with one of the other girls.  I spent  a bit of money in there as I bought an antique wall hanging and several Pasmina scarves !  In the evening we had a lovely home cooked meal.

skippyed says:
I can't remember the name of the hotel as it was part of the tour
Posted on: Mar 18, 2010
celine671 says:
where you stayed at bikaner
celine
Posted on: Mar 17, 2010
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The entrance to the rat temple
The entrance to the rat temple
The holy rodents enjoying milk off…
The holy rodents enjoying milk of…
Open courtyard of the rat temple
Open courtyard of the rat temple
Rats drinking the milk inside the …
Rats drinking the milk inside the…
The temple where the inner sanctum…
The temple where the inner sanctu…
Four blind mice !
Four blind mice !
Inside the temple, spot the white …
Inside the temple, spot the white…
To pilgrims enjoy being close to t…
To pilgrims enjoy being close to …
Pilgrims scramble to the sanctum
Pilgrims scramble to the sanctum
This is how close I got to one of …
This is how close I got to one of…
Ladies in their lovely colourful S…
Ladies in their lovely colourful …
Feeding the holy rodents with some…
Feeding the holy rodents with som…
The rat temple
The rat temple
Bikaner
photo by: skippyed