(Last Updated on : 17-09-2014)
Shani Shingnapur, a village situated in the Nevasa taluka in Ahmednagar district
of the Indian state Maharashtra
, is recognized for its temple of Shani, the Hindu deity of the planet Saturn. The place is also referred as Sonai, Shingnapur and Shani Shinganapur. It is famed for another fact that the houses in the village do not have doors and only have door frames. However in spite of this no theft has been reported there except one or two incident. Shani Shingnapur shelters a school called Shri Shanishwar Vidya Mandir and a post office. There are also primary schools under the administration of Zilla Parishad. Wells serve as the main source of water supply in the village.
History of Shani Shingnapur
The deity in the temple is believed to have self emerged from earth and took the form of a black but imposing stone. It is known as Swayambhu
. The exact period of this emergence is not known but local myths say that the Swayambhu Shanaishwara statue is present there from time immemorial and it was found by shepherds of the then local hamlet. Its existence dates back to at least Kali yuga
. There is also a myth associated with it.
Beliefs of Shani Shingnapur
Some of the villagers still dont keep their valuables locked as they believe that the temple here is a jagrut devasthan
which refers to alive temple and mean that the god here very powerful. The belief that prevails here is that whoever here attempts theft, god Shani punishes him or her. A lockless branch was opened in the village in January 2011 by the United Commercial (UCO) Bank, which marked to be the first of this kind in India. The near zero crime rate of the place inspired the establishment of such branch. The bank has doors which always remain open. Although the local police expressed dissatisfaction over this, the bank officials ensured adequate precautions for the safety of important documents and lockers.
Shani Shrine at Shani Shingnapur
Shani Shrine at Shani Shingnapur comprises a five and a half feet high black rock which has been installed over an open-air platform. The rock symbolises Lord Shani. To the side of the image a Trishula or trident is placed along with an image of Nandi
on its south. Small images of Shiva
stand in front of it. The temple witnesses a sea of devotees which increases manifold on the new moon day or Amavasya
as it is believed to be the most auspicious day for appeasing Lord Shani. To commemorate the deity a fair is also organized in the village while on Saturdays and new moon days a bigger festival is held. Lord Shanis image is bathed by the devotees with oil and water after which flowers and udid are offered to him. During the fair, a palanquin procession of Shani is carried out. Shani Jayanti is another important festival celebrated here.
Shani Shingnapur village lies at a distance of 35 kilometres from Ahmednagar city. It is 160 kilometres from Pune
and 84 kilometres from Aurangabad
. Nearest airport is located in Aurangabad whereas Srirampur is the nearest railway station.