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Khatu Shyam Ji Mandir is located in the district of Sikar, Rajasthan, and is considered as one of the most important pilgrim destinations in the state. According to Hindu mythology, Khatu Shyam Ji is the manifestation of the son of Ghatotkacha, Barbarika. It is said that devotees who pronounce his name from the bottom of their hearts are blessed and have their troubles removed, if they do it with true piety.


According to Hindu mythology, before the battle of Mahabharata began, the prowess of Barbarika was said to be unmatched. He had decided to favour the weaker side so he could remain just, a decision which would have resulted in the complete annihilation of both sides, leaving only Barbarika as the sole survivor. It is said that Shree Krishna, to avoid such devastating results, asked Barbarika for his head (sheesh daan), to which he readily agreed. Shree Krishna was extremely happy with the devotion shown to him, and by the great sacrifice of Barbarika that he granted him a boon, according to which Barbarika would be known by Krishna’s own name, Shyam Ji in the kaliyug (present times) and would be worshipped in his own form.


After the battle, Shree Krishna blessed Barbarika’s head and drowned it in the Rupawati River. Once the kaliyug began, the head was found buried in the village of Khatu in Rajasthan, at a location that was unseen until the kaliyug began. It was when a cow was crossing the burial point that her udders started spouting milk spontaneously. Surprised villagers dug the place and that was when the buried head was revealed. Roopsingh Chauhan, the then-king of Khatu, had a dream where he was asked to install the head inside a temple. This was when the temple was built and the head installed inside it.


Built with white marble, the temple is truly an architectural wonder. Apart from being a popular destination amongst devotees, many people visit the temple to gaze with wonder at the beauty of the structure. The large prayer hall is named Jagmohan and is surrounded by walls that depict elaborately painted mythological scenes. While the entrance and exit gates are made of marble, with marble brackets that feature ornamental floral designs, the shutters of the sanctum sanctorum are covered with a beautiful silver sheet that adds to the grandeur of the temple.