Ever since watching a documentary on Discovery channel about a temple in Deshnok where rats were welcome, and even holy, I had been dreaming about going there. The day I had been waiting for had finally come, and I was twiddling my thumbs for nearly an hour when we were getting closer to the temple.
The documentary had described how monks lived with these rats, and let them taste every meal before the humans were allowed to eat. There were also several bowls of milk laid out on the floor for the rats to drink. Entrance was free, but an extra pair of socks should be budgeted for when visiting the temple, as there are rat excrements everywhere. The feet can also not be lifted, due to the strict rules saying that if a rat is stepped on and killed, it has to be replaced by a rat statue made out of gold. Therefor we had to drag our feet along the ground, letting the rats run over our feet as we walked. The experience was amazing, and I must say that my relationship with rats has changed after visiting the rat temple. By watching the rats up close without having any fear of them biting, one could see through the rats ugly looks and see that all the rats had different personalities. Some were running around full of energy, while others were lazy sleeping on the stairs and tables in the temple. We even spotted a white rat, among the thousands of grey ones, which is supposed to bless you with good luck.
The temple has certainly lived up to my expectations, and is a MUST SEE if you go to India. If you are afraid of rats, I think you will walk into the temple with fear, and come out with nothing but love for the small creatures. Ten thumbs up for this place!