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.
The strangest part is that the human devotees of this sacred place don’t mind one bit.
While rats are often seen as a blight on urban areas, at this temple they are worshipped, fed, and protected.
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.
Flickr / Paolo Bompani
Some worshippers have even taken extra steps to protect the rats by building netting and grills to keep out predators.
The rats are an important part of this unconventional holy place, and many people visit just to see them.