Shyam Mandir Khatushyamji - Shyam Mandir Khatushyamji is one of the most important religious places to visit in Sikar district. The temple is located at a distance of 17 km from Reengus town.
It was built in the year 1777 and is dedicated to Khatu Shyam Baba, who was a manifestation of Barbarika, grandson of Bhim, from Mahabharata. According to Hindu mythology, Barbarika had obtained a boon from Krishna to the effect that he would be known by Krishna's own name (Shyam) in Kaliyuga (presently ongoing) and worshipped.
Krishna had declared that Barbarika's devotees would be blessed just by chanting his name from the bottom of their hearts. Their wishes would be granted and troubles removed if they worshipped ShyamJi (Barbarika) with true piety.
The temple holds significance because it is said that Barbarika saw the battle of Kurukshetra from the hill at this place. Accordingly, the village draws its name from the temple.
Historical Significance of Khatushyamji Temple
Barbarika was the grandson of Bhim and from his childhood, was a very brave and great warrior. He had learnt the art of warfare from his mother.
Lord Shiva, pleased with him, gave him the three infallible Arrows (Teen Baan) and Agni Dev gave him the Bow, which would make him victorious in the three worlds.
The battle of Mahabharata was inevitable between the Pandavas and Kauravas and having got the news, Barbarika wanted to witness the Great War. He promised to his mother, that if he felt the urge to participate in the battle, he would join the side which would be losing.
He rode on the horse equipped with the three arrows and the bow. The omnipresent Lord Krishna, disguising himself as a Brahmin, stopped Barbarika to examine his strength. Lord Krishna challenged him to tie all the leaves of the peepal tree under which he was standing, with one arrow.
Barbarika accepted the challenge, removed one arrow from his quiver and released it from his bow. The arrow tied all the leaves together within moments. But Lord Krishna hid one leaf under his foot.
The arrow then started revolving around his foot, and he asked the boy, whom he would favour in the war. Barbarika reiterated that he would fight for the side which loses.
Lord Krishna knew that defeat of Kauravas was inevitable, and if this brave boy joined them, the result would be in their favour. The Brahmin (Lord Krishna) then asked for charity from the boy. Barbarika promised him anything he wished.
Lord Krishna asked him to give his head in charity. The boy was shocked, but he maintained his promise. He requested the Brahmin to disclose his identity.
Lord Krishna showed him his divine form. He explained to Barbarika that before the battle, in order to worship the battlefield, head of the bravest Kshatriya needs to be sacrificed.
And he considered Barbarika to be the bravest, and hence asked for his head in charity. Barbarika requested that he wanted to see the battle till its end, and his wish was granted. Thus on the12th day of Shukla Paksha of Phalgun month, he gave his head to Lord Krishna (Sheesh Daan).
The head was placed atop a hill near the battlefield from where Barbarika could watch the whole battle. When the battle ended, Pandavas having won argued amongst themselves as to who was responsible for the victory.
At this, Lord Krishna suggested that Barbarika's head had watched the whole battle, and so he would be a better judge. Barbarika's head suggested that it was Lord Krishna who was responsible for the victory, his advice, his presence, his game plan had been crucial.
He could see only the Sudarshan Chakra revolving around the battlefield which was hacking the Kaurava army to pieces and Draupadi assuming the fearful form of Mahakali Durga was drinking bowl after bowl of blood, not allowing even one drop of blood to fall on to the earth.
Lord Krishna, pleased with Barbarika's great sacrifice, granted him the boon that when Kaliyug descends, he would be worshipped by the name of Shyam in his form. His devotees would be blessed just by pronouncing his name from the bottom of their hearts.
Cultural Significance of Khatushyamji Temple
Lord Shyam is worshipped as Krishna himself. Devotees from far-flung areas and distant places such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Nepal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab assemble here on days held especially sacred to Lord Shyam.
Even on other days, hundreds of visitors visit routinely. A number of Dharmashalas (Charity lodges) are available for their comfortable stay.
Newly married couples come to pay homage; newly born babies are brought to the deity's temple for Mundan (the first hair shearing) ceremony and Sawamani feasts
Architectural Significance of Khatushyamji Temple
The temple has an impressive architecture. The structure is built in marble, lime mortar and mosaic tiles. The outside prayer hall named as Jagmohan has its walls elaborately painted, depicting scenes from mythology.
The shutters of the Garbhagriha are covered with silver sheets. The entrance and exit gates are made of marble and feature ornamental floral designs. The temple has also a particular circulation movement pattern for the visitors, handicapped people, V.I.P.s and staff.
The entrance made by the general visitors is from the south main entrance from the temple and after the darshan the exit would also be be made from another gate next to the south entrance.
Handicapped people have a separate entrance through a special gate with the ramp made at the east of the temple structure. Also, V.I.P. and staff entrance would be done from the same gate at the north of the temple structure.
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