Inside India's rat temple where rodents are worshipped

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Rats might have us Brits running for the hills (or the nearest chair), but one temple in India is devoted to worshipping 20,000 of the animals.

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The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, feeds and protects the rodents, which can be seen eating in groups from large bowls of milk and grains.

Tourists flock to its gates to see the unique spectacle, with many offering them sweets to eat.

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According to the Daily Mail, the food nibbled by the rats is considered holy, and is sometimes consumed by a 'devotee' at the temple, even if it has been half-eaten by the rodents.

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One visitor, Surender Sharma, told the paper: "This is my first visit to this temple. There is no history of plague in this area, despite the presence of rats for many years. People come here to worship rats as god."

***EXCLUSIVE***  RAJASTHAN, INDIA - UNDATED: A person feeds a rat by hand in the rat temple in Rajasthan, India.  THEY say you are never more than six foot from a rat in London, but one temple in India is crawling with 20,000 of them. The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, is known for its devotion to the furry animals. Rats scurry throughout the temple, where they are worshipped, fed and protected. The worshipers believe the rats are an incarnation of Goddess Karni Mata.  PHOTOGRAPH BY Barcroft India  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com


Hmmm, we might leave this one off our bucket list...

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