Khatu Shyamji Temple



“Sheesh navakar Krishna ko, Diya sheesh ka daan

Amar hua itihaas me, Ye mahaan balidaan

Is apurva balidaan ka, Nikla ye parinaam

Barbarik hai ab amar, Naam ho gaya shyaam”


According to Skandapurana, Chapter 59-63, once when ghatotkach (son of bheem and hidamba) went to indraprastha to meet his father’s family. During this meeting Krishna suggested his marriage to demon Mura’s daughter who stayed in Pragjyotisha. Krishna told that she was one of the most powerful ladies he had met and so was suitable for Ghatotkach.

As suggested by Krishna, Ghtotkach got married to Ahilawati (Mura’s daughter) and from her he had a son who became man in a second after his birth. He was dark complexioned and had hair that stood up. So Ghatotkach named him Barbarika (the one who has hair like that of Barbara).

One day Barbarika questioned his Grand Mother Hidamba about the method of attaining ultimate welfare, at which she explain that easiest way to attain ultimate welfare is to get martyred by Lord Vishnu. However, to get martyred by Lord Vishnu, a Kshatriya should attain prowess and heroism. Barbarika could attain it at Mahisagar Sangam by worshipping the goddess of four directions and nine forms of durgas, and get all the favors from them.

Barbarika started worshipping goddess durga, after some time the goddess pleased with Barbarika, visited him and told him that he should study under the Brahmin named Vijaya Siddh Sen who resided in Magadha. Vijaya Siddh Sen was a great devotee of lord Shiva and so Barbarika also worshipped Shiva. Pleased with Barbarika’s offering, Shiva gave him three infallible (foolproof) arrows. The first arrow would mark all the enemies, the second would destroy all of them, and third was given as an extra. Barbarika due to this blessing of Lord Shiva is also known as Teen Baandhaari or the “Bearer of Three Arrows”.  By his offering to Agnidev, Barbarika obtained a bow too.

After some time, when he got to know about the war between Pandavas and Kauravas is inevitable, he expressed his desire to his mother and his Guru Vijay Siddh Sen to witness and participate in the great battle. They agreed asking him to fight only with the weaker one (Haare ka Sahara). Agreeing to their words, he departed to Kurukshetra riding his Blue horse named Leela (Leela ke aswar), equipped with his boon (The Bow & The three arrows).

Before Barbarika could reach kurukshetra, Krishna disguised as Brahmin, came in front of him and forecasted that Barbarika could finish the battle in few minutes. Barbarika was astonished. Krishna told him that he desired to see the results of the arrows. Barbarika asked him on whom he wanted to see the test, at which Krishna said that Barbarika could take the tree leaves as his enemy and display the result of arrows to him. When Barbarika closed his eyes to offer the prayer to shot the arrow, Krishna plucked one of the leaf and kept it below his foot. When Barbarika shot the first arrow all the leaves got marked. And with the second arrow when all the tree leaves were targeted, the leaf which was below Krishna foot was also targeted. Krishna got to know that with this arrow he could never defend anyone (not even 5 pandavas).

He asked Barbarika that he was going to fight the battle against which side. At which Barbarika told that he would fight the battle with the weaker side that is kauravas. Krishna told him the side he wants to join is not the righteous one as they kauravas were immoral and corrupt. But Barbarika kept on insisting and finally when Krishna tried to stop him from moving ahead, Barbarika took out his arrow and started to pray. At that time Karishna killed Barbarika by cutting his head with his Sudarshan Chakra.

Barbarika then revealed that he had already understood its Krishna disguised as Barhmin and he wanted to get killed by Krishna to attain ultimate welfare (as told by her grandmother). Barbarika also told Krishna about his desire to see the battle. So Barbarika’s head was left alive and he watched the battle from a hill top near Kurukshetra.

According to Mahabharat, when the war got over, all the pandavas wanted to know who was the bravest of them and due to whom they were able to win this battle. So they went to meet Barbarika to inquire as he was watching the battle. Barbarika said it was none other than Shri Krishna and his Sudarshan Chakra which performed all the doings.

Each of the Pandava felt ashamed of their thought and understood their mistake. Pleased with Barbarika’s intelligence, Krishna gave him a boon that in Kalyug his head would be worshipped with his name ( Kalyug ke avatari) i.e. Shyam, and asked him to go to khatu and establish himself there. Krishna also told him that he would be called as “Sheesh ke dhani” / “Lakha Datari” as he donated his head.

That is how Khatu Shyam ji or Khatu Naresh or Shyam Pyare came into being.

After the Mahabharat war, Barbarika’s head was submerged in river Rupawati.

After many years (During Kalyug), in the village named Khatu, cow started lactating spontaneously at a particular spot. Amazed at this incident, when villagers dug the place( now known as Shyam Kund), they found buried Barbarika’s head. The head was handed over to a Brahmin for offering regular prayers.

King of Khatu, Roopsingh Chauhan, was then given divine indication in his dream for building a temple and establishing the head as the Idol. The establishment henceforth happened on phalgun month, 11th day of shukla paksha. The temple is fully made of marble with the sanctum being that of silver sheets.

The temple is well known amongst the Krishna followers, hence the main festivals celebrated here are Janmaashtami, Jhool Jhulani Ekadashi, Holi and Vasant Panchami. Festivals which are unique to Khatu Shyam are pahlgun mela, shukla ekadashi and dwadashi and Nishan yatra. Nishan yatra is considered to be one of the most influential as followers need to travel barefoot from Ringus to Khatu(17 km).It is believed that if you carry the Nishaan ( flag ), your wishes will be definitely granted.

This temple is at distance of about 70 Kms from Jaipur on Sikar highway.

Watch exclusive video on the evolution of Khatu shyam from barbarik here : 

excerpts from mahabharat