Shani Shingnapur Temple is a popular temple of Lord Shani, the Hindu god associated with the planet Saturn. It is located in the state of Maharashtra. “Swayambhu” is the presiding deity here. This means the ‘self-evolved’ deity. The temple has a promising purity in its atmosphere.
Shingnapur is also famous for the quality that no house in the village has doors, only door frames. Despite this, the villagers did not report the occurance of a theft until 2010. Also, devotees believe that the Shani Shingnapur temple is “jagrut devasthan” that translates into “alive temple”, meaning that a deity still resides in the temple icon. Further, Villagers believe that god Shani punishes anyone attempting theft.
The temple is significant and lately gained importance because it lifted the ban on women’s entrance in the temple.
- What is the history of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- What is the significance of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- What are the timings of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- Which festivals are celebrated at Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- How to reach Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- Where to stay near Shani Shingnapur Temple?
- What are some places to visit near Shani Shingnapur Temple?
What is the history of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
According to history, Ahmednagar is popular as the place of saints. Also, there are four legends around this temple. The story of swayambhu statue handed down from generations through word of mouth, goes something like this: When the Shepherd touched the stone with a pointed rod, the stone started bleeding.
This surprised the shepherds. Soon the whole village gathered around to watch the miracle. On that night Lord Shanaishwara appeared in the dream of the most devoted and pious of the shepherds.
He told the shepherd that he is “Shanaishwara”. He also told that the unique looking black stone is his swayambhu form. The shepherd prayed and asked the lord whether he should construct a temple for him. To this, Lord Shani Mahatma said there is no need for a roof as the whole sky is his roof and he prefers open sky. He asked the shepherd to do daily pooja and ‘Tailabhisheka’ every Saturday without fail. He also promised the whole hamlet will have no fear of dacoits or burglars or thieves.
What is the significance of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Significance of Shani Shingnapur Temple is that the shrine for Shani consists of a five and a half feet high black rock installed on an open-air platform, which symbolizes the god Shani. Unlike other pilgrimage centres, devotees here can perform puja or abhishek or other religious rituals themselves.
In the times of Acharya Udasi Baba, there would be only three people visiting the shrine. Namely, Dagdu Changediya, Hastimal Chnagediya and the mother of Badri Tokse. They too used to come only on Saturday. Now, daily there are over 13000 visitors.
One of the unique aspects of the village Shingnapur is that houses here have no door- frames or locks on them for safety.
A Trishula (trident) is placed along the side of the image and a Nandi (bull) image is on the south side. In front are the small images of Shiva and Hanuman.
Generally, the temple has 30–45,000 visitors a day, which swells to around three lakh (i.e. three hundred thousand) on amavasya (the no moon day), believed to be the most auspicious day to appease Shani.
According to a 400-year tradition, women could not enter the inner sanctum. Therefore, on 26 January 2016, a group of over 500 women, led by activist Trupti Desai, marched to the temple under the group “Bhumata Ranragani Brigade”, demanding entry into the Inner sanctum. But the police stopped them.
In a landmark judgement on 30 March 2016, the Bombay High Court asked Maharashtra government to ensure that women are not denied entry to any temple. Hence, On 8 April 2016, the Shani Shingnapur trust finally allowed the women devotees to enter the sanctum.
What are the timings of Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Here are the timings of Shani Shingnapur Temple:
|Darshan||12 AM||12 AM|
Which festivals are celebrated at Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Shani Shingnapur Temple are:
- Shri Shaneshchar Jayanti is God Shani’s birthday. From ‘Chaitra Shuddha Dashami’ to ‘Chaitrya Vadya Pratipada’, continuously, the priests chant the God’s name and perform the ‘Granthraj Dnyaneshwari Parayan’.
- From 1991, on Aashadi Ekadashi of every year, from Shanishingnapur to Pandarpur, Shaneshwar Palki is taken on foot with great fanfare. In this, all the trustees and devotees participate.
- Similarly, from 1991, during Ekanaathi Shashti of every year, all the trustees and devotees participate in taking Shaneshwar Palki on foot, with great fanfare, from Shanishingnapur to Paithan.
How to reach Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Here’s how to reach Shani Shingnapur Temple:
- Air: Nearest International Airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
- Rail: The suggested railway stations are Ahmednagar, Rahuri, Shrirampur and Belapur.
- Road: Shingnapur is a village at a distance of 6 kms from Ghodegaon on Aurangabad Ahmednagar road in Maharashtra. It is 84 Kms from Aurangabad and 35kms from Ahmednagar.
Where to stay near Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Some places where one can stay near Shani Shingnapur Temple are:
- Daiwik Hotel, Shirdi near Pimplewadi road is a notable place to check in. It offers great dining experience and is a nice accommodating place.
- The Temple View Hotel at Nagar Mnamad road is at close proximity to the temple. Travellers often also check in for its convenient location and well suited accommodation.
What are some places to visit near Shani Shingnapur Temple?
Some of the places that one can visit near Shani Shingnapur Temple are:
- Shirdi is around 70 km away from Shani Shinganapur which is the famous place of Shri Sai Baba. Saibaba pent most of his life in Shirdi Village. Millions of visitors visit Shirdi temple daily and take blessings from Sai Baba.
- The Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered as the greatest historical monument in the Maharashtra, India; which are about 79 km southwest from Shinganapur.
- Nashik city is 143 km from the Shani Shinganapur and is famous for its religious culture. There are many places to see in the Nashik city; some of which include Muktidham, Pandavleni Caves, Sula Vineyards, Kalaram Temple, Naroshankar Temple, Sundarnarayan Temple, Shri Kailas Math etc.