Shanidham Temple, Chattarpur
Shree Shanidham Temple is located in the capital city of India, Delhi. It is known for its world’s biggest rock idol of God Shani. God Shani is the chief deity of this temple; the temple also has shrines for several other gods – God Hanuman, Goddess Jagadamba, a huge Shiv Lingam, and various other gods. The temple consists of no priest or a sage. All the devotees perform various poojas by themselves to the Shani idol.
The rock idol of God Shani was established in 2003 by ‘Anant Shree Vibhushit Jagat Guru Shankracharya Swami Madhavasharam Ji Maharaj’. It is believed that whoever performs a pooja to the deity of this temple, their sins would be forever washed away. All the pooja material is made available by the temple for nominal rates. No material from outside the temple is allowed due to security issues. The money thus collected is used for various charitable works. Once the devotees enter the temple premises, no one talks to one another but stays in a quiet pious chanting the god’s name.
The Shanidham temple also has its own non-profit, non-governmental voluntary trust that organizes various social welfare activities under the expert guidance of ‘Shree Sidh Shakti Peeth Shanidham Pithadhishwar Shree Shree 1008 Mahamadaleshwer Paramhans Daati Ji Maharaj (Nijswaroopanand ji Maharaj)’. It also operates a goshala (cow shelter), Gurukul Ashwasan Baal Gram – a resident school the helps children of the backward communities receive basic necessities, education, and professional training programmes.
- The world’s largest Shani idol was unveiled by ‘Anant Shree Vibhushit Jagat Guru Shankracharya Swami Madhavasharam Ji Maharaj’, on 31st May, 2003 at Asola, Fatehpur Behri, Delhi.
- A Shani idol was also established at Pali, Rajasthan.
- The temple since has been a great pious place of worship for devotees of God Shani.
Significance of the Shanidham Temple
- When the idol of God Shani was unveiled, ‘Shree Sidh Shakti Peeth Shanidham Pithadhishwar Shree Shree 1008 Mahamadaleshwer Paramhans Daati Ji Maharaj (Nijswaroopanand ji Maharaj)’ had performed chanting of Shani Mantras for one hundred Crores and thirty two lakhs on this sacred grove.
- Since then, it is believed that most of the problems of the devotees of God Shani are automatically solved when pray at this temple.
- It is believed that the devotees’ problems would be solved when the idol is worshiped by offering oil (Tel abhishek) by them.
- There are no priests or sages in this temple. All the devotees, both men and women, perform their own poojas to the God at the idol.
- No devotee talks to one another, and maintain quiet and the pious of the place by indulging themselves in devotion, prayer and worship of the god.
- Questions related to astrology, Ayurved, Yoga, and the Tantra would be answered at the temple.
Shanidham Temple Timings
Shanidham Temple is open to devotees 6 days a week.
Monday – Saturday: 11.00am – 2.00pm & 3.00pm – 7.00pm
Poojas and Rituals at Shanidham Temple
Shanidham Temple is mainly dedicated to the worship of God Shani. Though various festivals are celebrated, theregular poojas and rituals are mainly offered to the main deity, God Shani.
- Offering oil (Telabhishek) to God Shani while chanting the mantras ‘Om Sham Shanishcharaya Nameh’, ‘Om Pram Preem Prom Se Shanishcharaya Nameh’, ‘Om Sham Shanishcharaya Nameh’ while circumambulating the ‘Shila Murty’ (idol) is the basic ritual at the temple.
- Offering one’s footwear, embracing and kissing the idol is a traditional ritual.
- On every Saturday and on Shani Amavasya religious poojas related to the deity are performed in the temple.
Festivals Celebrated at Shanidham Temple
- Navratri Pooja –Navratri, also known as Durga Pooja, is a festival celebrated in the honor of nine different forms of the Goddess Durga, for nine consecutive days. The Goddess of Power is worshipped during these days in order to seek her blessings and protection.
- Deepawali Pooja – Deepawali, the festival of lights, is the festival of Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that when Goddess Laxmi is offered pooja and worship on the eve of Deepawali, she blesses her devotees with peace and prosperity. On the eve of Deepawali, a traditional ‘Lakshmi Pooja’ is performed after sunset.
- Special Pooja on Shani Amawasya – On each ‘Shani Amavasya’, rituals such as ‘Pitra Dosh’ & ‘Kaal Sarpa Dosh’ are performed at Shani Dham to the God. On such occasions, special worship and ‘Telabhishek’ (bathing the idol of God Shani with mustard oil) are performed.
Activities at Shanidham Temple
The Shree Shanidham Trust is a non-profit, non-governmental social welfare organization. The Trust is engaged in social welfare activities in different parts of India but is primarily focused in Rajasthan. Some of the activities conducted and organized by the trust are:
- Helping people affected by drought.
- Providing free fodderfor cattle.
- Arranging food, clothes, and blankets to the needy.
- Organizing free medical camps in remote parts of Rajasthan.
- Pensions for the elderly and needy.
- Scholarships for meritorious students.
- Providing tricyclesto the disabled.
- Arranging potable waterin the interior rural areas of Rajasthan.
Where to Eat
There are many AC/Non-AC restaurants and dhabas around Chattarpur area which serve healthy multi-cuisines.
Where to Stay
There are several 3-star to 5-star hotels and lodges located around the mandir area which provide good accommodation options.
How to reach
By Air: Indira Gandhi International Airport is the official airport of Delhi, and is around 16.6 km from Shanidham mandir.
By Rail: Delhi city operates a well connected metro rail. Nearest metro stations to the temple are Chattarpur station and Qutub metro station.
By Road: Several state government run buses and taxis operate round the city which transport to Chattarpur area.
- Chattarpur Temple – Officially known as the ‘Shri Aadya Katyayani Shakti Peetham’, it is located in Chattarpur area of south Delhi. Constructed from marble, it is the second largest temple complex in India, and is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani. It can be classified a vessara style of architecture. The temple architecture is classified as vessara architecture with jaali (perforated stone work) on all facets of the temple.
- Qutub Minar – At 120 meters, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world, and the second tallest minarin India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India. Made of red sand stone and marble, the minar is covered with iron intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. The nearby 7 meters high Iron Pillar from Gupta Empire is a metallurgical curiosity. This pillar has Brahmic inscriptions on it and predates the Islamic minar.
- Uttara Swami Malai Temple – Popularly known as Malai (Hill) Temple, it is dedicated to God Swaminatha, the younger son Shiva-Parvathi. The main temple within the complex, formally called Sree Swaminatha Swami Temple, houses the Sanctum Sanctorum of God Swaminatha. The complex contains temple shrines dedicated to Sree Karpaga Vinayagar (God Ganesh), Sree Sundareswarar (God Shiva) and Devi Meenakshi (Goddess Parvathi). The architecture of these shrines draw inspiration from the Pandya style of South Indian Temple Architecture.