A house of worship is a sacred place. Religious believers come to these buildings for inspiration, comfort, and peace, and inside those sacred walls, anyone can find sanctuary.

At one temple in India, thousands of devotees flock there to worship every day. It’s a special place where everyone feels protected… but human beings aren’t the only ones who consider this temple holy.

The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, is no ordinary house of worship. You see, it’s overrun by over 20,000 rats.

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The strangest part is that the human devotees of this sacred place don’t mind one bit.

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While rats are often seen as a blight on urban areas, at this temple they are worshipped, fed, and protected. 

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The rodents are allowed to roam freely within the temple, and they’re often found eating from the huge metal bowl of milk and grains, placed there daily by visitors.

rats6Flickr / Paolo Bompani

Some worshippers have even taken extra steps to protect the rats by building netting and grills to keep out predators. 

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The rats are an important part of this unconventional holy place, and many people visit just to see them. 

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Tourists flock to the site each day, and the rats can often be seen playing and interacting with small children. 

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Many visitors even offer the rodents sweets and other candy…

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Disease is not a concern, as visitor Surender Sharma explained: “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.”

rats3Weird Asia News

The food eaten by the vermin is also considered holy, and sometimes the human visitors will even join in…even if a rodent has already started nibbling on it.

rats2How Stuff Works

While black and brown rats are common in the temple courtyard, devotees believe sighting a white rat brings good luck and blessings from god.

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Savita Sharma, another visitor, said: “I keep visiting this temple. The first time I visited this place I was glad to see rats all around…but I did scream out loudly when a rat touched my foot!”

rats7Flickr / Jean-Pierre Dalbera

Who would have thought that humans and rats could come together to worship in perfect harmony!

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