Shani Shinganapur is a village in the Indian state of Maharashtra, located about 35 km from Ahmednagar city. The village is famous for its temple of Shani, the Hindu god of justice and karma, who is associated with the planet Saturn. Shani temple attracts millions of devotees every year, who come to seek the blessings and protection of Lord Shani. But what makes this village even more remarkable is that no house in the village has doors, only door frames.
Shani Shinganapur villagers believe that Lord Shani will punish anyone who tries to steal or harm them, and hence they live without any fear of theft or crime.
Shani Shinganapur Location/ Timing and Entry Fees
Shani Shinganapur is situated in Nevasa taluka in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The nearest railway station is Ahmednagar, which is well connected to other major cities by train. The nearest airport is Aurangabad, which is about 84 km away. From there, one can take a bus or a taxi to reach the village.
The temple is open for visitors from 4 am to 11 pm every day. There is no entry fee for the temple, but one has to pay a nominal amount for parking and other facilities. The temple also provides free meals to the devotees on Saturdays, which is considered to be the most auspicious day for worshipping Lord Shani.
How to Reach Shani Shinganapur
There are several ways to reach Shani Shinganapur from different parts of the country. One can take a train to Ahmednagar and then hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the village. Alternatively, one can take a bus from Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Pune, Mumbai or other nearby cities to Shani Shinganapur. There are also private tour operators who offer packages for visiting the temple.
Another option is to drive to the village by car or bike. The road condition is good and the route is scenic. The distance from Ahmednagar to Shani Shinganapur is about 35 km, from Aurangabad it is about 84 km, from Pune it is about 160 km and from Mumbai it is about 300 km.
History of Shani Shinganapur
The history of Shani Shinganapur dates back to ancient times, when it was known as Sonai. According to legend, once a shepherd found a black stone in the riverbed near the village. When he touched it with a stick, it started bleeding. He was amazed by this miracle and informed the villagers about it. That night, Lord Shani appeared in his dream and told him that he was the god of justice and karma, and that the black stone was his self-manifested form.
He also told him that he did not need a temple or a roof over his head, as he preferred to be under the open sky. He asked him to worship him every day and especially on Saturdays with oil and flowers. He also promised that he would protect the village from any harm or danger.
The shepherd obeyed the god’s instructions and started worshipping the stone with devotion. Soon, the villagers also joined him and built a platform around the stone. They named the place Shani Shinganapur, meaning the village of Lord Shani. Since then, Lord Shani has been revered as the guardian deity of the village and its people.
Significance of Shani Shinganapur
Shani Shinganapur is one of the most powerful temples of Lord Shani in India. It is believed that Lord Shani himself resides in the black stone idol, which is also known as Swayambhu Shanidev (self-evolved Shanidev). The idol has no human form or features, but radiates a divine energy that can be felt by anyone who visits the temple.
The temple is also unique because it has no walls or roof around it. It is open to all directions and elements of nature. This signifies that Lord Shani does not discriminate between anyone and treats everyone equally according to their karma.
The devotees who visit the temple have immense faith in Lord Shani’s justice and mercy. They believe that by worshipping him sincerely, they can overcome their difficulties and obstacles in life. They also believe that by offering oil (til) and black cloth (kala kapda) to Lord Shani on Saturdays, they can appease his wrath and avoid his adverse effects on their
Rituals of Shani Shinganapur
The devotees who visit Shani Shinganapur follow certain rituals to worship Lord Shani and seek his grace. Some of the common rituals are:
- Taking a head bath and wearing wet clothes before entering the temple platform. Only men are allowed on the platform, while women can worship from a distance. The devotees should also be bare-headed and not wear any hat or cloth on their head.
- Offering oil (til) and black cloth (kala kapda) to Lord Shani on Saturdays, which is his favorite day. The oil is poured on the idol and the cloth is tied around it. The devotees also chant the Shani mantra “Om Sham Shanishcharaye Namah” 108 times.
- Circumambulating the idol seven times and performing abhishek (ritual bathing) with water from the holy well near the temple. The water is believed to have healing properties and can cure various ailments.
- Donating food, clothes, money or other items to the poor and needy as a way of expressing gratitude and compassion to Lord Shani. The temple also provides free meals to the devotees on Saturdays.
Q: Why are there no doors in the village?
A: The villagers believe that Lord Shani will protect them from any theft or crime, and hence they do not need any doors or locks in their houses. They also believe that anyone who tries to steal or harm them will face the wrath of Lord Shani and suffer misfortune.
Q: What are the benefits of worshipping Lord Shani?
A: Lord Shani is the god of justice and karma, who rewards or punishes people according to their deeds. By worshipping him sincerely, one can overcome their difficulties and obstacles in life, and achieve success and happiness. One can also avoid his adverse effects on their horoscope, such as Sade Sati (seven and a half years), Dhaiya (two and a half years) or Mahadasha (twelve years).
Q: What are the best times to visit Shani Shinganapur?
A: The best times to visit Shani Shinganapur are during the festivals of Shani Jayanti (the birth anniversary of Lord Shani), which falls on Amavasya (new moon day) of Jyeshtha month (May-June), and Shani Amavasya (the no moon day dedicated to Lord Shani), which falls on Amavasya of every month. These days are considered to be very auspicious for worshipping Lord Shani and seeking his blessings.
Shani Shinganapur is a unique village with a powerful temple of Lord Shani, who is revered as the god of justice and karma. The village is known for its faith and devotion to Lord Shani, who protects them from any harm or danger. The temple attracts millions of devotees every year, who come to worship Lord Shani and seek his grace. The temple is also a symbol of equality and harmony, as it has no walls or roof around it, and welcomes everyone regardless of their caste, creed or gender.