Khatu Shyam The Patron God of The Defeated


Khatu Shyam – This was the most important and interesting discovery of my Jaipur trip. Khatu Shyam Mandir, I must have heard this name but never paid much attention to it. Like most people, I too had mistook it for Shyam i.e. a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. I thought this temple might have been named Khatu Shyam Mandir after a local character named Khatu. But after listening to the legend behind this temple, my eyes remained wide open. Lord Krishna is certainly a part of this legend, but he is not Khatu Shyam.

If you know even a little about Hinduism, then you will definitely agree with me that we always associate every small and big fact with some or the other deity. I was also aware of many names of gods and goddesses related to every natural gift, coincidence and purpose in Hinduism, but, Khatu Shyam, I had never heard this word before. I came here and got information about Khatu Shyam, who is considered to be the patron god of the defeated. According to the information received, Khatu Shyam, also known as Barbarik, always helps the defeated. That is why he is also called ‘Sahara of the loser’.

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Who is Barbarik or Khatu Shyam?

The grandson of the mighty Bhima was Barbarika, the second Pandava son of the Mahabharata period. According to the scriptures, he was the son of Hidimba’s son Ghatotkacha and Nagkanya Mauravi. Mahabali Bhima had married Hidimba, a princess of the Bhil caste, during his exile.

According to legends, Barbarika was a brave and great warrior since childhood. He had received three unfading arrows as a boon from Lord Shiva by doing severe penance. Agnidev was pleased and gave him a bow as a boon which was able to make him victorious in all three worlds. It is believed that one arrow protects the helpless and the weak, the other surrounds the enemy side and the third destroys them.

Barbarik had received martial arts from his mother. Since Barbareek was raised by his mother, he always followed the path shown by him. Barbarik’s mother always inspired him to help the defeated and the destitute.

Barbarik’s Contribution To Mahabharata

As soon as the news of the Mahabharata war declared between the Kauravas and the Pandavas was received, Barbarik’s desire to participate in the war was awakened. After receiving blessings from the mother, he promised to support the defeated and started toward the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Disguised as a Brahmin on the way, Shri Krishna wanted to get information about his arrows. In reply, Barbarik said that only one arrow is capable of defeating the entire enemy army and returning to their Takshak. After passing the test taken by Shri Krishna, Barbarik also repeated the promise given to his mother.

Krishna Know About Barbarika Arrow

Shri Krishna knew that if Barbarika used all three arrows, then the entire universe would be destroyed except them. He also learned that supporting the defeated meant that he would each day choose the opposite army so that the war would go on for eternity. Therefore, Barbarika’s involvement in this war would have proved contrary to destiny. According to destiny, the destruction of the Kauravas in the war and the living victory of the Pandavas were certain.

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Therefore, Shri Krishna, a Brahmin, wished for his head in a donation to Barbarik and said that before the start of the war, it is necessary to sacrifice the head of the best Kshatriya in the three worlds for worshiping the battlefield. Barbarik was compelled to donate his head to the Brahmin. Recognizing the true form of Shri Krishna, as a last wish, he expressed his desire to see the Mahabharata war till the end. Pleased with the sacrifice of Barbarika, Krishna decorated him with the title of the best hero and adorned his head on the top of a hill near the battlefield. From here the head of Barbarik saw the entire Mahabharata war.

At the end of the war, Barbarik’s head was asked to whom the credit for the victory goes. His answer was, Shri Krishna! Shri Krishna’s strategy was decisive. All the other warriors were merely obeying his orders. Pleased with the great sacrifice of Barbarik, Shri Krishna granted him a boon that he would be known as Shyam in Kali Yuga.

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Khatu Shyam’s Search

It is said that Lord Krishna himself had offered the head of Barbarika to the river Rupvati. Later his head was found buried in the soil of Khatu village located in Sikar district of Rajasthan. That is why he was named Khatu Shyam.

It is said that a cow started shedding its own stream of milk at a fixed place. After excavation at that place, the head of Barbarik appeared which was handed over to a Brahmin. The Brahmins worshiped this head and meditated and contemplated knowing its history.

The then king of Khatu village, Roop Singh Chauhan, had received a dream to build a temple and to beautify the head of Barbarik in the temple. After that Raja Roop Singh Chauhan and his wife Narmada Kanwar got the temple constructed in 1027 AD and decorated the head of the temple on the Ekadashi of Kartik month. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Khatu Shyam.

According to some legends, Queen Narmada Kanwar saw Khatu Shyam in a dream. After that, his statue in black stone was found at the designated place. Presently this idol is worshiped inside the original temple.

The idol of Khatu Shyam in the temple is in the form of a Kshatriya warrior. He has a big mustache and there are expressions of heroic rasa on his face. His eyes seem wide open and attentive. They have fish-shaped earrings in their ears. Khatu Shyam is not only the village deity of Khatu village but also the Kuldevta of many Rajput Chauhan families in and around Sikar.

Khatu Shyamji’s Darshan

One day during our visit to Jaipur, we set out early in the morning for the darshan of Khatushyamji. It was the month of August. The sunflower field is at the peak of its youth. As soon as we reached Khatu village, a free archway stood to welcome us. ‘Shri Shyam Sharanam’ was inscribed on it. After entering this gate, we covered some more distance by car. We were eagerly waiting for a huge temple to appear. But when we entered through the back door of the temple complex, a small temple stands in front of us.

There was another temple outside the temple complex. This temple is of Hanumanji in the form of Singh Pol Hanuman.

One of the features of this temple that came to my attention was the hanging quince (coconut). Mouli or coconuts tied with sacred red thread were hanging all around. These were coconuts of wish fulfilment. If there is a desire for the fulfilment of a special wish by the Lord, then devotees hang such coconuts here. After fulfilling the wish, the devotees come here and open the coconut and remove it.

According to the information board outside the temple, there is no priest or temple head in this temple. The descendants of the Chauhan Rajput family maintain this temple.

Shyam Kund

The place from where the head of Barbarik was found is called Shyam Kund. It is a combination of two attractive pools. The kund shown in the picture above is for men and a similar kund is also made for women. There is also a temple of Gayatri Devi in ​​this complex. Here too, hanging coconuts can be seen all around.

There is a statue of Lord Krishna here at whose feet the head of Barbarika narrates the story of this place.

One of the knocking thorns of this beautiful complex is its cleanliness. I hope that the attention of devotees should also be drawn towards the cleanliness of the premises and the premises should be kept clean. Otherwise only infinite devotion can take you inside the premises.

The Living Culture of Khatu Shyam

Wherever you go in Khatu village, you will find Khatu Shyam i.e. Barbarik’s bow and Triban in one form or the other all around you. Devotees hang them prominently in their carts. It is written on it, ‘Hare Ka Sahara, Khatu Shyam Hamara’. It means, our Shyam is the support of the defeated.

Many types of souvenirs are also available in the small market of Khatu village which is mainly based on the bow and arrow of Khatu Shyam.

Khatu Shyamji – Travel Tips

Although accommodation facilities are also available in Khatu village, however, you can come from Jaipur in the morning and go back after darshan.

  • For Aarti schedule contact the temple website.
  • Photography is prohibited inside the temple.
  • On an ordinary day, when the number of devotees inside the temple is small, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient for temple darshan. In this, you can also visit Khatu village.


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