Rajasthan has rich culture and tradition due to diverse religions and ethncity in the country. The dance, music and art forms are fascinating & mesmerising. Indian fairs are characterized by verve, horde and resplendence and so as the Khatu Shyamji fair of Rajasthan.
Khatu Shyamji Temple is an important pilgrimage site in Rajasthan. However it is more popular for the annual fair that takes in the month of February/March.Khatu Shyamji is a home of the famous Shyamji temple. Shyam is another name for ‘Krishna’. All round the year hoard of devotee stream in, but their number almost doubles during the fair. Lakh of Krishna followers gather at the annual fair from Phalgun Sudi Dashmi to Dwadashi. The Khatu Shyamji Fair of Rajasthan lasts for three days.
The legend or story attached dates back to the time of Mahabharata. Before the battle of Mahabharata started, the grandson of Bhima, Barbarik came to Lord Krishna and Pandavas and requested them to fight the war from their side. Barbarik was very brave and a great warrior. He was blessed with three infallible arrows by Lord Shiva and Agni Dev or the God of Fire gave him the Bow, which would make him victorious in the three worlds. Lord Krishna thought that it would be wrong because the war might end without justice as Barbarik was very strong and the war will end in haste.
Barbarik wanted to participate in the battle from the side that would be losing. He equipped himself with the bow and three arrows and fled on his horse. Then Lord Krishna played a trick. He took the appearance of a Brahmin to examine his strength and playing joke that he is heading to battleground to fight with just three arrows.
Barbarik told Brahmin that only one arrow was enough to destroy all the enemies in the war. If he would use all the three arrows, it would create chaos in the three worlds. Lord Krishna challenged him to tie all the leaves of the peepal tree under which he was standing, with one arrow. Barbarik took one arrow from his quiver and released it from his bow.
The arrow tied all the leaves together. But Lord Krishna had one leaf under his foot. The arrow then started revolving around his foot, and asked the Barbarik, whom he would favour in the war. Barbarik restated that he would fight for the side which loses. Lord Krishna foreseen the defeat of Kauravas, he thought if this brave boy joins them, the result would be in their favour.
The Brahmin (Lord Krishna) asked for daan from the boy. Barbareek promised to give him anything he wished for. Then the brahmin asked for his head as a charity (daan) for worshipping the battlefield by
sacrificing head of the bravest Kshatriya. Barbarik readily obeyed him and chopped off his head. Lord Krishna was enamored with the sacrifice and blessed him with two boons, namely, first was that he would see the war from the small hill, on which Krishna had placed his head and the other was that he would be worshipped as ‘Shyam’ in Kalyug.
Khatu Shyamji Barbarik’s head was buried in Khatu. After many prolonged period head was found in the earth when the place was dug up. A Brahmin worshipped the head for many days. The King of Khatu build a temple and installed the head "SHISH" on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month.