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8 Sacred Sites You Won’t Believe Exist

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8 Sacred Sites You Won’t Believe Exist

By Talal Al-Khatib, Discovery Channel

If you’re looking for a truly off-the-beaten path adventure with a spiritual side, few destinations rival these sacred sites. A combination of architectural marvels and temples built by eccentric orders, the spiritual sanctuaries in this slideshow are truly beyond belief.

The Temple Where Rats Rule

The Karni Mata temple in India has something every wandering soul seeking spiritual fulfillment yearns for: thousands and thousands of rats.

Considered the reincarnations of once living humans, the rats are sacred to the temple and its patrons. While the rodents would be treated as pests anywhere else in the world, here they are offered food and shelter.

The temple is dedicated to Karni Mata, a 14th-century mystic who was believed to be the incarnation of Durga, the goddess of victory.

Although a tourist draw, most visitors to the temple are Hindu pilgrims.

Image: ch images / Flickr

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139 comments

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5:24AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

What an amazingly diverse world we live in!

11:40AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

I marvel at the temples #2 and #6 how did they do them.

4:34AM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Fascinating, so many different and interesting places exist in this world. Nothing quite like travelling around and finding many of these intriguing places. No doubt that the rats at the Karni Mata temple never have to worry about ending up meeting the fate of another Care2 article entitled "Would you eat a rat?" written back in 2012.

3:33PM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

all sound amazing! I want to travel to all of them!

12:11AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

thank you!

3:18PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Very interesting places, wish I had the money/ health to visit some...

1:21PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Wow.

12:15PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

What a fun travelogue! I'm ready to go -- is there an organized tour???

7:30AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

wow

5:37AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Interesting travelogue, but the Santa Croce entry does need to be corrected.

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So Heartwarming and just SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Tears and I wish long, happy life for this …

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