Karni Mata temple from Benjamin Carpenter on Vimeo.
Karni Mata was a female Hindu sage born in the Charan caste and is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers.
Legend has it that Laxman, Karni Mata’s stepson (or the son of one of her storytellers), drowned in a pond in Kapil Sarovar in Kolayat Tehsiil while he was attempting to drink from. Karni Mata implored Yama, the god of death, to revive him. First refusing, Yama eventually relented, permitting Laxman and all of Karni mata’s male children to be reincarnated as rats. – wikipedia
It is estimated that there are 20,000 rats in the temple today where they are protected, fed and worshiped.
My trip through India in 2012 was such an interesting and valuable experience because I found myself immersed in a culture that is so different from my own.
I passed through this town specifically to visit this temple. The strange mix in the atmosphere of holy worship and the visceral sensation of many rats crawling over my bare feet is something that I will not soon forget.