Many years ago, or so the story goes, the goddess Durga incarnated in the 14th century as Karni Mata, a mystic. Karni Mata devoted her life to the poor and oppressed. When her younger son drowned she appealed to the Lord of Death to restore him to life. But you can’t argue with the Lord of Death and Yama was unable to restore her son to life.
Karni Mata did it herself and announced that henceforth her family members would never die but be restored to life each time as a rat. She is said to have laid to cornerstone for this temple which dates back to the 15th Century.
To see a white rat amongst the teeming skidding sleeping scattering moving carpet of rats is considered to be very auspicious so I went there specifically to get advice on a story I am planning to write. If I don’t see the white rat, then its a sign to abandon the project and if I do see the white rat then its a sign from the Goddess Karni Mata! I had to go twice, the last time was a bitterly cold winter day. Rajasthan may be known for its heat but winter can chill to the bone.
As is usual and correct for all seekers, it wasn’t until my frost bitten toes were literally sticking to the ratshit carpeted marble floors and my suffering was complete that I got my first sight of the white rat!