There is a Karni mata temple, very close to Bikaner. The Karni mata fair is held twice a year in Deshnoke. The fair is held during the navratras in April or May and October or November.
It is believed that Karni mata had decided that no one from her tribe would be taken away by Yama, the god of death. It is also believed that Karni mata had said that anyone from the tribe, who dies, would inhabit the body of a rat, before he or she was reborn into the tribe.
Presently, there are many rats in the Karni mata temple and it is also believed that there rats are reincarnated people of the tribe, before being reborn into the tribe. Thus the rats in the temple are worshipped.
The rats in the Karni mata temple are worshipped by the devotees. The devotees also feed them and make sure that they donít stamp on them.
The Junagarh fort is an amalgamation of old culture and modernization. Rao Bika realized that he is not going to inherit his fatherís property and thus decided to form an army of young warriors. His army was powerful in the Thar desert.
Rao Bika sought the blessings of Karni mata, who was a social reformer and thus visited the Karni mata temple to get her blessing. Karni mata blessed him and thus Rao Bika defeated his opponent and established the city of Bikaner in 1488 AD.