Khatu Shyam, also known as Shyam Baba or Barbarik, is a revered deity in Hinduism, particularly in the northern parts of India. He is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna and is worshipped as a symbol of love, devotion, and protection.
According to Hindu mythology, Barbarik was the son of Ghatotkacha (a character from the epic Mahabharata) and Kamkantakata (a demon princess). He acquired extraordinary powers and skills in archery from his mother. Legend has it that during the Kurukshetra War, Barbarik wanted to participate but was unable to choose which side to support as he had promised his mother to fight on the weaker side. To resolve this dilemma, Lord Krishna appeared before him in the form of a Brahmin and tested his skills. Impressed by Barbarik’s prowess, Krishna asked him to offer his head in sacrifice, as this would give him the ability to observe the entire war.
Barbarik agreed to the request and offered his head. Pleased with his selflessness and devotion, Lord Krishna blessed him with a boon. He declared that Barbarik would be worshipped as Khatu Shyam and that anyone who seeks his help with a pure heart would receive his blessings and protection.
The temple of Khatu Shyam, located in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, is a major pilgrimage site dedicated to him. Devotees from various parts of India visit the temple to seek his blessings, especially during the annual fair held in his honor. The worshippers tie sacred threads (called moli or kalava) around their wrists and offer prayers, often with the hope of overcoming difficulties, finding love, or fulfilling their desires.
Khatu Shyam is revered as the Lord of miracles and is believed to grant the wishes of his devotees. His followers believe that sincere devotion and unwavering faith in him can bring about positive changes in their lives.