Shani Shingnapur is one of the most important places for Shani worship in India. In Hindu astrology, Shani means the planet Saturn, one of the 9 heavenly objects. Shani is considered as some one who takes offence easily and brings bad luck to people who defy him. So, Shani is one of the most feared navagrahas. Devotees believe that Lord Shani is looking after this sacred place and thus it is devoid of theft or robbery. Hence it is one of the top religious places in Maharashtra. People across the country come here to seek blessings from Lord Shani.
A devotee story:
Smt. Chandrabhaga Devi, who was extolling the grace of God Shani told us that her in those days, her newly married daughter Sakardevi Karale, from Shingve village of Pathardi Taluka, which was her in-laws place had come to their home at Shingnapur. Because she was newly married, she was wearing a lot of jewelry. “On the same day, as four unknown persons, seeming to be beggars entered our house. Along with the alms, they also saw our jewelry and became happy. There was no fear in our minds and we gave the alms and we came into our home.
But on the same night, at around 1.30, the same four persons came into our home to rob our jewelry. I felt that they had come with the intention of robbing the jewelry. And it was proved right in a little while. They started fighting with us to take away the jewelry. To escape from them, my daughter and I escaped from them and went towards the house of Anna Saheb Kushinath Darandale who lived just 100 metres away.
But, what a strange occurrence! We saw them and were going away from them were seeing them, right in front of them but they could not see us! God Shani was protecting us and our jewelry from them! And though they were not blind, they could not see us. They had lost their sight suddenly. It was because of the grace of God Shani that our jewelry and we were protected. After this incident, I and my husband Shri Dhondiram Tukaram Darandale pray and serve God Shani day and night. After this true story which I have seen with my eyes, I have totally surrendered to Mahatma (Great God) God Shani.”
Shani Shingnapur or Shani Shinganapur is around 114 km from Nashik and 40 km from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. This village is known for the Shani Temple, who is the presiding deity of the place.
Lord Shani is said to be a self-manifested deity in Shani Shingnapur. The deity is not a statue but is in the form of a black stone slab One of the popular legend is about a shepherd who found this big stone. The story is that once the shepherd accidentally hit the stone. Surprisingly, blood started oozing out of that stone. It is said that Lord Shani himself appeared and told him to build a temple around that stone. Lord Shani also said that “the sky itself is a roof for him and the shepherd need not build a roof for the temple.” Further, the Lord asked him to perform daily poojas.. Lord Shani also promised that he will protect the village from any theft or robbery. The main sanctum of Lord Shani doesn’t have a roof and it is an open temple. Shani Shingnapur Temple has a modern architecture with large premises.
For many years, women were not allowed inside the main sanctum. Recently, a group of women activists entered the main sanctum and protested against this tradition. This issue also went to the court and it gave a statement that women can also enter the sanctum. Now women are also allowed to enter the inner sanctum in Shani Shingnapur.
Not a single case of theft, riot, murder or rape has been recorded in the entire history of Shani Shingnapur village.
The people of Shani Shingnapur village are from the ancestry of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
There are no election panels or parties in this village. Only one vote is considered as final and the decision is accepted by all people.
It is told that once you have seen the idol and moved ahead i.e. you have shown your back to the idol then you should not see the idol again.
You cannot get Liquor, gambling or non-vegetarian food in this village.
The Peepal trees in the village have hanging roots (like Banyan tree), which is unusual.
People offer oil (like flowers to other gods) to the shrine of Shani Shingnapur temple. Some people offer 101 oil boxes or 1 quintal oil and few people even offer an entire tanker of oil to God Shani.
More than 10 lakh people visit this temple on the occasions of Shani Amavasya and Shani Jayanti.
People get their lost thing such as money wallet, watch, gold things or other precious items immediately.
By Road: Shani Shingnapur temple is 35 kms away from Ahmadnagar, 160 kms away from Pune, 84 kms from Aurangabad and 295 kms from Mumbai. It’s a 7 hours drive from Mumbai.
Nearest Railway Station: Ahmednagar Railway Station is the convenient railway station to reach Shani Shingnapur town. The station is 35 kms away from the town.
Nearest Airport: Aurangabad (90 kms) & Pune (160 kms) are the closest airports to Shani Shingnapur. Taxi’s & other vehicles on hired are available outside the airport.
Devotees can visit Shani Shingnapur temple 24 x 7; all days of the week 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Entry for the darshan of God Shani is free to everyone. However, they take prasad packet charge as Rs.10/Packet.
There are some small hotels & eateries around the temple to have food.
It’s a very small village & does not offer much accommodation options. So it is better to stay in Shirdi. There is a wide range of hotels in Shirdi.
Temple Telephone Number
Telephone: 02427 238110 , 02427 238108
Shani Shingnapur Temple
Dist.: Ahamadnagar Pin. 414 105.