We hadn’t been working on the podcast long when listener Karissa asked us to talk about India’s Karni Mata temple, which is home to 20,000 rats. I wasn’t expecting “rat temple” to take us to the legend of a goddess’ fight against a buffalo demon, but it did. I also wasn’t expecting it to touch on chaste marriages and medieval mysticism, which we’ve talked about before in our episode on Margery Kempe. Multiple surprises for me in this episode. It’s about a whole lot more than rats.
Today’s listener mail is some more on our Loving v. Virginia episode (parts one and two). They’re from Alexandra, who writes about anti-miscegenation laws in California. Tom writes about the “Pocahontas exception,” which we didn’t get into in the episode.
Episode link: India’s Karni Mata Rat Temple
Here’s where our facts came from:
- “Max Harcourt (1993): The Deshnoke ‘Karni Mata’ temple and political legitimacy in Medieval Rajasthan, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 16:s1, 33-48
- National Geographic Education. Rat Temple. http://www.natgeoeducationvideo.com/film/547/rat-temple
- India TV News. “India’s Temple of Rats: Karni Marta Temple.” 3/21/2013. http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/india-s-temple-of-rats-karni-mata-temple-18902.html
- Budak, Alex. “Making New Friends at the Indian Rat Temple.” Huffington Post. 6/14/2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-budak/making-new-friends-at-the_b_876454.html
- Guynup, Sharon and Nicholas Ruggia. “Rats Rule at Indian Temple.” National Geographic. 6/29/2004. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0628_040628_tvrats.html
- Travel India. “Karni Mata Temple of Deshnok in Rajasthan, India.” http://rajasthantourism-india.com/rajasthan_pilgrimages/karnimatatemple.html
- Tomczyk, Thomas. “Rat Temple of Karni Mata.” Dubitus. 12/15/2012. dubitus.com/rat-temple-of-karni-mata-20130105/
- WildFilmsIndia. “Karni Mata Mandir – Temple of Rats!” YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxWX7wgTj9E
- “Durga.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/174252/Durga.
- Tribune India. “Rat Reverence.” 12/5/2010. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101205/spectrum/main7.htm
- Tribune India. “A Temple Abounding in Rats.” http://www.tribuneindia.com/1998/98aug30/nation.htm#3
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