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Deshnok Temple: Brushing with sacred rodents in India

In New York, it’s not uncommon to see ‘rat stations’ peppered throughout restaurant districts, intended to put a dent in the population of city pests. In Deshnoke, India, I had to leave my shoes at the door when I entered Karni Mata Temple, a rat station of an entirely different purpose. In Deshnoke, rats are revered as bearers of special blessings and deity favor, which you can curry yourself by purchasing holy food, “Prasad”, and maneuvering barefoot through rodent-filled hallways, to brush with the supernatural.

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