After the Mahābhārata battle, Barbarika’s head was buried in the village of Khatu in present-day Rajasthan. The location was obscured until well after the Kaliyuga period began. Then, on one occasion, milk started flowing spontaneously out of a cow’s udder when she neared the burial spot. Amazed at this incident, the local villagers dug the place up and the buried head was revealed. The head was handed over to a Brahmin who worshipped it for many days, awaiting divine revelations as to what was to be done next. Roopsingh Chauhan, king of Khatu, then had a dream where he was inspired to build a temple and install the head therein. Subsequently, a temple was built and the idol was installed on the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha (bright half) of the month of Kartik.
There is another, only slightly different version of this legend. Roopsingh Chauhan was the ruler of Khatu. His wife, Narmada Kanwar, once had a dream in which the deity instructed her to take his image out of the earth. The indicated place (now known as Shyam Kund) when then dug up. Sure enough, it yielded the idol, which was duly enshrined in the temple.
The original temple was built in 1027 AD by Roopsingh Chauhan and his wife Narmada Kanwar. In 1720 AD, a nobleman known as Diwan Abhaisingh renovated the old temple, at the behest of the then ruler of Marwar. The temple took its present shape at this time and the idol was enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum. The idol is made of rare stone. Khatushyam is the family deity of a large number of families.
The temple is architecturally rich. Lime mortar, marble and tiles have been used in constructing the structure. The shutters of the sanctum sanctorum are beautifully covered with silver sheet. Outside is the prayer hall, named Jagmohan. The hall is large in size (measuring 12.3 m x 4.7 m) and its walls are elaborately painted, depicting mythological scenes. The entrance gate and exit gate are made of marble; their brackets are also of marble and feature ornamental floral designs
There is an open space in front of the entrance gate of the temple. The Shyam Bagicha is a garden near the temple from where flowers are picked to be offered to the deity. The Samadhi of Aloo Singh, a great devotee, is located within the garden.
The Gopinath temple lies to the south-east of the main temple. The Gaurishankar temple also lies nearby. There is an interesting tale associated with the Gaurishankar temple. It is said that some soldiers of the mughal emperor Aurangzeb wanted to destroy this temple. They attacked the Shiva lingam enshrined within this temple with their spears. Immediately, fountains of blood appeared from the Shiva Linga. The soldiers ran away, terrified. One can still see the mark of the spear on the Lingam.
Around the temple.
- Shyam Kund :
The holy pond near the temple from which the SHISH was retrieved. It is believed that a dip in this pond cures a person from ailments and brings good health.
- Shyam Bagichi :
A blessed garden near the temple from where the flowers are picked to be offered to the deity. The great devotee Lt. Aloo Singhji’s Samadhi is also situated in the premises.
- Gourishankar Temple :
Shiva temple situated near Shyamji’s temple. It is a legend that the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s soldiers wanted to destroy this temple, and attacked the Shiva Linga with a spear. Fountains of blood appeared from the Shiva Linga, and the soldiers ran away, terrified. One can still see the mark of the spear on the Linga.
Timing of Opening & Closing of Shri Khatu Shyam Mandir:1st October – 15th March :
Morning 5.30 a.m. to Afternoon 1.00 p.m.
Evening 5.00 p.m. to Night 9.00 p.m.
Summer: 1st April – 15th September
Morning 4.30 a.m. to Afternoon 12.30 p.m.
Evening 4.00 p.m. to Night 10.00 p.m.Important: On every Shukla Paksh Ekadshi doors ofShri Shyam Prabhu Mandir remains open for 24 hrs.On Every Kartik Sudi Ekadshi, Shyamji birthday isbeing celebrated with great hustle & bustle.And from Phalgun Sudi Dashmi till end of festival doors of ShriKhatuShyamJi remains open all the time