Bikaner is one of the popular tourist destinations of Rajasthan. Apart from the forts and places that the city prides itself of, there are two important Bikaner temples that are worth a visit. The Deshnok temple and the Shiv Bari temple are two most important temples of the city.
What is unique about the Deshnok temple is that the temple houses around 20,000 odd rats within its boundaries. These rats are indeed loved and possessed by the temple priests. This is simply because they believe that these rats or rodents living within the temple are not ordinary ones. They are respected and regarded to be the incarnations of the devotees of the temple who lived in the bygone eras. These devotees possessed magical powers. Since these rats are regarded as the reincarnations of these devotees, they are indeed worshipped by the people of the nearby villages as well as the priests of the temple. The temple is actually dedicated to Karni Mata and hence is also known as the Karni Mata temple. Karni Mata is actually the incarnation of Goddess Durga. What is surprising is the fact that the village Deshnok was never heard to have inflicted with the disease of plague in spite of the presence of the rodents.
Among the many Bikaner temples, the next mention must be made of the Shiv Bari temple. The temple is magnificent in its architectural design and style. It is made up of red sandstone. It was built by Maharaja Doongar Singhji. It was built in the 16th century and it is not located exactly within the city but located at a distance of 6 kms from the city.
These two temples are regarded as popular tourist attractions when it comes to Bikaner. Apart from Bikaner temples, there are other forts like the Junagarh Fort, the Lalgarh fort that one must visit when it comes to seeing the cultural heritage of the Rajputana. The festival of camels shows the pomp and the fun present in the heart of the local people. Then there is Bikaneri food to be tasted and relished.