Khatu Shyam Ji Mandir is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the state. It is located in the district of Sikar, Rajasthan. It is said that believers who take his name from the bottom of their hearts are blessed and have their troubles removed, if they do it with true piety. Khatushyamji is famous all over one of the most sacred temples in India.
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Who is Khatu Shyam?
According to Hindu mythology, Khatu Shyam Ji is the incarnation of Barbarika, a god of the defeated, as he always supported the one who is defeated. Barbarik is the son of Ghatotkacha and Maurvi and grandson of Bhim – the second Pandava of Mahabharata and tribal princess Hidimba. Khatu Shyam is not just the deity of the region but a Kul-Devta or the family deity of many Rajput Chauhan families in and around Sikar.
History of Khatu Shyam
Barbarik was a brave warrior. He always used to carry a unique bow with triple arrows. The three arrows could finish any war in a minute. The first arrow would mark the people who need to be safeguarded. The second arrow would mark the people to be killed and the third arrow goes and kills the ones who need to be killed.
When the Mahabharata war was declared, Barbarik, being a warrior, wanted to participate in the war. On his way to Kurukshetra, he met Krishna. Krishna tested the powers of his triple arrow and was impressed. He was now worried that if Barbarik fought, it would be the complete ruin of both sides and be left as the sole survivor. He also calculated that he would fight from the side that is weaker and is being defeated and would be switching sides every day – leading to the same result. Krishna realized that to avoid such devastating results Barbarik’s participation in the war had to be stopped. He wanted Pandavas alive at the end of the war.
The legend behind the name
Before the battle of Mahabharata began, Krishna asked for Barbarik’s head (sheesh daan) stating that the head of a brave person was required as a war ritual. Barbarik readily agreed to this but asked to witness the war as his last wish. Krishna then placed his head on top of a hill and Barbarik witnessed the whole Mahabharata War. At the end of the war, he was asked – who won the war? He said – Krishna. Krishna was extremely happy with the devotion shown to him, and by the great sacrifice of Barbarika. He granted a boon to Barbarik according to which Barbarika would be known by Krishna’s own name, Shyam Ji in the kaliyug (present times) and would be worshiped in his own form. This is how he got the name – Shyam.
How the temple came into existence
After the battle, Shree Krishna blessed Barbarika’s head and drowned it in the Rupavati River. Once the kali yuga began, the head was found buried in the Khatu village in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. This location was unseen until the kali yuga began. The head was discovered when a cow was crossing the burial point, started giving milk on top of this head. Surprised villagers dug the place and that was when the buried head was revealed. It was handed over to a Brahmin who worshiped it and meditated on it.
Later, Roop Singh Chauhan, the then ruler of the khatu region had a dream where he was asked to build a temple and install the head inside in it. This was when the first temple of Khatu Shyam came into existence in 1027 CE. Here, you will see an idol of Krishna with the head of Barbarik at his feet. Temple was built on the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha in Phalgun month of the lunar calendar. It is the same day when Barbarik had offered his head to Krishna before the Mahabharata War. It is said that there is no temple head and the descendants of the Chauhan Rajputs take care of this temple.
Rituals associated with the temple
Near the temple, there is a holy kund called Shyam kund. It is the place where the head of Barbarik was found. A famous belief among pilgrims is that a dip in this sacred kund can relieve an individual from their illnesses and bring them good health. It is also believed that bathing at the Shyam Kund during the Phalguna Mela Festival, which is held every year, is especially salutary.
Another unique thing you will notice here is coconuts with a Mouli bound around are hanging everywhere. These are said to be the wish-fulfilling coconuts. It is said that one can make a wish and tie a coconut here and once the wish is fulfilled, they should revisit the place to untie it.
Architecture of the temple
Constructed with white marble, the temple is simply an architectural marvel. Apart from being a prominent destination amongst devotees, many people visit the temple to stare at the magnificence of the edifice. It has a large prayer hall which is named Jagmohan. It is concealed by walls that illustrate elaborately painted mythological scenes. While the entrance and exit gates are made of marble, with marble frameworks that feature embellishing floral designs, the shutters of the sanctum sanctorum are covered with an elegant silver sheet that adds to the magnificence of the temple.
Khatu Shyam Toran Dwar
While entering the village you will find an arch welcoming you. This arch is known as Toran Dwar. It has ‘Shri Shyam Sharnam’ written over it. Many bhajans are written on this sacred gate of khatu village. Another thing you will see is wherever you go in the town you would see the three arrows stating Haare Ka Sahara, Baba Shyam Hamara.
Facts related to Khatu Shyamji
As per the trustee of the Shyam Mandir Committee, Pratap Singh, Baba’s head was found in Shyamkund about 995 years ago, on the day of Gyaras. It was the time of Khatwang, a descendant of King Dasaratha.
There was a Peepal tree near the well. Cows used to give milk here. The villagers were surprised by the cows giving milk at the place. When the villagers dug at that place, Baba Shyam’s head was found. His head was handed over to Narmada Kanwar of the Chauhan dynasty. That Peepal tree is still there near Shyam Kund.
It is said that such a huge form of Khatushyamji was not seen anywhere. A shape similar to the crown was made on the head. Sandalwood paste is applied on his head.
In Vikram Samvat 1084, the temple was established on Devuthani Ekadashi. The village was named Khatu after him and the name Shyam was derived from Lord Krishna.
Aurangzeb’s army attacked the temple in Vikram Samvat 1736. Aurangzeb’s army had demolished the temple. The devotees hid the idol of Baba Shyam near the Shivalaya.
How to Reach
Khatu Shyam Temple is easily accessible via road and train and flight.
By train: Ringas Junction is the nearest railway station to the temple which is about 17 km away. The railway is well connected to other parts of the state.
By Road: You find a number of cabs and jeeps (private or shared) to take you to khatu village. You will find transport right outside the station as well as the airport to take you to the temple. You can also get several private and government buses that run between Jaipur and Khatu.
By flight: Jaipur International Airport is nearest to the temple, which is about 80 km. From the airport you can travel via road to the temple. The best route to reach the temple is to take Sawai jai Singh Highway to the Jaipur- Sikar Road and then to NH 11.
Timings to visit
In winters, the temple is open from 5.30 am to 1.00 pm and from 5.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
During summers, you can visit the temple between 4.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
If you go on a normal day when the temple is not very crowded, you need 1-2 hours to see the temple and the khatu village in India.
For Aarti timings refer to the temple website. The aarti is held 5 times during a day.
Khatu Shyam darshan booking
Khatu Shyam online booking has started from the official website. So devotees can apply online for khatu shyam ji darshan registration through the official website www.shrishyamdarshan.in. You will get all details regarding Khatu Shyam Darshan booking, guidelines, mandir aarti time, how to apply registration form on their website
You will easily find accommodations in the khatu village. However, it would be best if you cover this destination as a one day trip from Jaipur.
Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
The khatu village in India has a small market where you will find souvenirs of all kinds with the triple arrow bow.