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The Karni Mata of Bikaner, Rajasthan is held twice a year for ten days.

Karni Mata Fair

Time Twice every year (March-April and September-October)
Venue Deshnok, Bikaner
How to Reach Located about 30 miles south of Bikaner, it is well connected both by road as well as rail.
Significance It is dedicated to Karni Mata, an austere who worked for uplifting the condition of the deprived and oppressed communities.

Situated at Deshnok, Karni Mata Fair of Bikaner, Rajasthan is held two times in a year. Deshnok is a small town near Nokha in Bikaner district. The Rajasthan Karni Mata Fair is dedicated to Karni Mata, an ascetic who spent her life working towards uplifting of the deprived and oppressed communities. Legend has it that she possessed mystical powers. She was the founder of Deshnok. In the present times, her main followers worship her as a goddess. She was also regarded as the patron deity by Charans, as well as the rulers of Bikaner.

The Karni Mata temple at Deshnok is constructed of stone and marble structure. Also known as Madh, the temple houses a 75 cm statue of Karni Mata, ornamented with a mukut (tiara) and garlands. There are also images of the sisters of Karni Mata and Avad Mata. It is a ritual among the Rajputs to bring their children to the temple for their first hair cut. The cut hairs of the children are placed at Mata's feet for her blessing.

The first fair (larger one of the two) is held during the period of March to April. It is the time of Navratras and the days of the fair are from Chaitra Shukla Ekam to Chaitra Shukla Dashmi. The second fair (the smaller one) takes place during the period of September to October. This period is the time of the second Navratras, the fair being from Ashvin Shukla to Ashwin Shukla Dashmi.

The Karni Mata temple is open to the public as early as 4.00 a.m. in the morning. First of all in the morning, Charan priests conduct Mangla-Ki-Aarti and offer bhog (special food). The most unique feature of the temple is the swarm of brown rats wandering at leisure inside the temple. The rats are believed to be lucky and are even made offerings by the devotees.