Visit Shani Shingnapur: The Temple Village Without Doors (2022)
The Shani Shingnapur is possibly the most famous religious locations in all of Maharashtra, along with places like Shirdi. The village is in Ahmednagar and has a world-famous temple associated with Shani, the Hindu God of the planet Saturn.
The center of attraction here is the temple, which is home to one of the many Swayambhu idols, idols that evolved on their own.
Shani Shingnapur Lore
There is some lore associated with the Shani Shingnapur temple here. Experts say that the idol exists from the time of the Kali Yuga. making it one of the oldest religious artifacts in the world.
The actual lore about the idol is that it somehow floated to the village some 300 years ago. When people touched it, blood oozed out.
That same night, the village chief had a dream in which the Shanidev appeared and said that the stone was an idol in his devotion. In his dreams, Shanidev also told the Chief that there should be no temple built because he needs the open area to look over the village. However, today there is a large temple built in Lord Shani’s honor, but the main idol is still out in the open.
The main idol is in an enclosure today, and there are two carved elephants near it. The Shani idol here is a sacred stone and not a typical idol that one sees in a temple.
The Shani Shingapur Experience
The Shani temple in Shingnapur, Maharshtra is possibly the only temple in the whole world where the main idol is outside the temple premises.
Inside the temple, there are several and small idols of various Hindu Gods, like Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman. There are several smaller temples and idols of religious figures all around the general area.
Another fascinating lore of this village is that it has no doors or locks. The villagers believe that the Shanidev punishes thieves, and therefore they do not have to worry about the security. Lore says that whoever tries to steal in the village cannot reach even the outskirts and will lose their eyesight.
The lore has been around for generations, and even newer constructions in Shingnapur follow it. You will see that none of the houses have doors and locks. Even the local bank does not have a door, and only has a metal detector.
The entire village goes into a festival mode during the four Saturdays of the month. The visit to Shani Shingnapur is a unique one for several reasons. The village is one of the few in Maharasthra that are entirely famous for the temple that they have like Shirdi town is famous for the Shirdi temple. Also, this is possibly the only village that is so devoted to the idea of God being their security that the entire population follows the concept.
You can easily spend a whole day here, from morning to afternoon, taking in the view that the village offers, giving darshan in the temple, and generally getting an idea of the village life.
Places to Visit Near Shingnapur
If you would like to explore further, there are other places of religious and tourist importance near Shani Shingnapur.
However, please note that your Shani Shingnapur visit would be an entire day, so if you plan to visit any of the places below, you will need to create an itinerary for at least a week.
One pro tip is to dress conservatively and that goes for both men and women. If you plan to photograph or take a video in the temple premises, make sure you check out whether it is allowed or not. The village life is a fantastic photo opportunity, but make sure that you have befriended the villagers before clicking their photos.
Another pro tip, if you are traveling in a group with members of both the genders, or are a couple, plan to book two rooms in all the locations mentioned in this article. Even Aurangabad has several hotels that do not allow unmarried couples to login into a room.
Seventy Kilometers away is another famous temple town, Shirdi. Shirdi is popular because Sai Baba spent most of his life here. The temple is one of the most famous in Maharashtra and the world.
You can also visit Aurangabad, which is about eighty kilometers away. Aurangabad has a few tourist locations, but you can easily plan a two-day visit to go to Ajanta and Ellora caves.
If you have time on your hands, you can also visit Nashik, another town that has several temples and places of historical importance and tourist locations, like the Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyothirlinga temple, Naroshkar Temple, the Pandavleni Caves, and the Sula Vineyards.
Visiting all the places in one week is possible if you plan well. All these places are in a V shape, with Shirdi in the middle, and Shani Singapur, Nashik, and Aurangabad forming the V shape around Shingnapur.
Shani Shingnapur is connected well, and you will find all the amenities that you would want to stay overnight. Some hotels cater to all budgets. If you are booking your hotel online, check out the rules and regulations. Some hotels do not allow unmarried couples of different genders to spend the night at their premises.