Mammals


Karni Mata Temple, Deshnok, India

Thousands of rats inhabit it. There are special holes and tunnels around the temple to facilitate the rats’ movements as well as a wire screen over the courtyard to protect them from birds of prey. Pilgrims are anointed with ash while the scurrying critters run over their feet. This is considered very auspicious as is spotting a rare white rat. Bowls of milk and water are strategically placed throughout the temple and pilgrims feed the rats balls of sugar. These pilgrims believe that the rats are their ancestors.

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