Khatu Shyam Ji Mandir is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the state. It is located in Sikar district, Rajasthan. Believers who take his name from the bottom of their hearts are said to be blessed and their troubles removed if they do it with true piety. Khatushyamji is famous about one of the most sacred temples in India.
Who is Khatu Shyam?
According to Hindu mythology, Khatu Shyam Ji is the incarnation of Barbarika, a god of the slain, as he always supported the one who was defeated. Barbarik is the son of Ghatotkacha and Maurvi and grandson of Bhim – the second Pandava of Mahabharata and stamprinses Hidimba. Khatu Shyam is not only the deity of the region but a Kul-Devta or the family deity of many Rajput Chauhan families in and around Sikar.
The legend behind the name
Barbarik was a brave warrior. He always carried a unique bow with triple arrows. The three arrows can end any war in a minute. The first arrow would mark the people who need to be protected. The second arrow marks the people to be killed and the third arrow goes and kills the ones to be killed.
When the Mahabharata War was declared, Barbarik wanted to join the war as a warrior. On his way to Kurukshetra he met Krishna. Krishna tested the powers of his triple arrow and was impressed. He now feared that if Barbarik fought, it would be the complete demise of both sides and the only survivor left. He also calculated that he would fight from the weaker side and get defeated and switch sides every day, which would lead to the same result. Krishna realized that in order 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.
Before the battle of Mahabharata began, Krishna asked for Barbarik’s head (sheesh daan), which stated that the head of a brave person was necessary as a war ritual. Barbarik immediately agreed, but asked to witness the war as his last wish. Krishna then laid his head on the 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 pleased with the devotion shown to him, and with the great sacrifice of Barbarika. He bestowed a blessing on Barbarik according to which Barbarika would be known by Krishna’s own name, Shyam Ji in the kaliyug (present tense) and 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. When the kali yuga began, the head was found buried in the village of Khatu in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. This location was unseen until the Kali Yuga began. The head was discovered when a cow crossed the cemetery and began to give milk to 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 and meditated on it.
Later, Roop Singh Chauhan, the then ruler of the khatu region, had a dream in which he was asked to build a temple and install the head in it. This was when the first temple of Khatu Shyam came into existence in 1027 CE. Here you 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 the Phalgun month of the lunar calendar. It is the same day that Barbarik sacrificed his head to Krishna for the Mahabharata War. It is said that there is no temple head and that the descendants of the Chauhan Rajputs take care of this temple.
Rituals associated with the temple
Near the temple there is a sacred kund called Shyam kund. It is the place where Barbarik’s head was found. A famous belief among pilgrims is that a dip in this sacred kund can relieve one from his illness and bring him good health. It is also believed that bathing in the Shyam Kund during the Phalguna Mela festival, which is held every year, is particularly beneficial.
Another unique thing that you will notice here is that coconuts with a Mouli band hang all over them. These would be the wish-fulfilling coconuts. It is said that one can make a wish here and tie a coconut and if the wish is fulfilled they must visit the place again to untie it.
Built with white marble, the temple is simply an architectural marvel. Besides being a prominent destination among devotees, many people visit the temple to gaze at the magnificence of the building. It has a large prayer hall which is called Jagmohan. It is hidden by walls that illustrate elaborately painted mythological scenes. While the entrance and exit gates are made of marble, with marble frames with embellishing floral designs, the shutters of the sanctum sanctorum are covered with an elegant silver plate that adds to the magnificence of the temple.
Khatu Shyam Toran Dwari
Entering the village you will find an arch that welcomes you. This arch is known as Toran Dwar. It has ‘Shri Shyam Sharnam’ written on it. Many bhajans are written on this sacred gate of the village of Khatu. Another thing you will see is that wherever you go in the city you would see the three arrows marked Haare Ka Sahara, Baba Shyam Hamara.
How to reach
Khatu Shyam Temple is easily accessible by road, 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.
On the road: You will find a number of taxis and jeeps (private or shared) to take you to Khatu village. You will find transportation right outside the station and 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 closest to the temple, about 80 km. From the airport you can travel to the temple by road. The best route to reach the temple is to take the Sawai jai Singh Highway to the Jaipur-Sikar Road and then to NH 11.
Times to visit
In winter, the temple is open from 5:30 AM to 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
In summers, you can visit the temple from 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 will need 1-2 hours to see the temple and khatu village in India.
For Aarti timings refer to the temple website. The aarti is held 5 times a day.
Book khatu shyam darshan
Khatu Shyam online booking has been started from the official website. So devotees can apply for khatu shyam ji darshan registration online through the official website www.shrishyamdarshan.in. You will get all the details about Khatu Shyam Darshan booking, guidelines, mandir aarti time, how to apply for the registration form on their website
You can easily find accommodation in the khatu village. However, it would be best if you cover this destination as a day trip from Jaipur.
Photography is not allowed in the temple.
The khatu village in India has a small market where you can find all kinds of souvenirs with the triple arrow bow.