About the Temple:
Shyam Kaka temple is located near Shaka Jagir village in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Krishna also known as Shyam. The temple history dates back to 1845 A.D. Though it is a Hindu temple, a temple panel depicts six Muslim men offering namaz in long robes and traditional headgear, offering namaz.
The temple was built in the mid-1800s. A strong Indo-Saracenic influence can be seen in the architecture of the temple. The temple design has elements from the native Indo-Islamic style and combining it with Gothic revival architecture. It includes the pietra dura technique which involves the use of polished stones. This technique has been also used in the construction of Taj Mahal. The Shyam Kaka temple has sculptures of royal processions, village duels, and imperial deities. There's an excessive use of floral motifs to decorate engraved panels and flowing lines to depict human and animal forms and figures.
The legend has it that Bhagali Devi, wife of Shyam Dev Khinchi, a Rajput king, left the palace after quarrelling with her husband. She took refuge with Amara Singh Gurjar, a native chieftain. Shyam Dev Khinchi was later killed during a war. Stricken by remorse, Bhagali Devi built a temple in her husband’s memory. She installed an idol of Krishna or Shyam in this temple. As a mark of respect towards Amara Singh Gurjar, she made him the head priest of Shyam Kaka temple. Gurjars are serving as the priests in this temple since 1844-45.
But the panel with the Muslim men has another story to narrate. It is said that once six men from Arabia came visiting the temple. They got into a debate on the superiority of the faith with Amara Singh Gurjar, The visitors argued that Mecca and Medina are the most sacred places on this earth.Hence, Amara Singh told them tat he will create the two holy cities right here without stepping out of the temple. The Arab visitors challenged the priest to do so. Next, there was a divine replica of Mecca and Medina in the temple premises. The Arabs offered prayers there. The panel displaying the six Arab men was installed as a tribute to this incident.
Puja, Celebrations and Festivals:
Apart from daily puja and rituals, the festivals of Janmashtami and Deepawali are celebrated in a grand manner.
How to reach:
By Road: The temple is well connected by roads and Narasinghpur is the nearest town. Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are available frequently to reach the temple.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Rajgarh Railway station.
By Air: The nearest airport is Raja Bhoj International Airport, Bhopal.