Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019

Shani Shingnapur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shani Shiganapur village in Ahmednagar District is well known for the spectacular and unique Temple for the magical and powerful Lord Shani, who is believed to reside in a black stone till date. 

 

 

The Hindu God symbolising the planet Saturn is referred to as Swayambhu, which means that he has emerged himself in the form of the black stone. It has absolutely no architectural beauty, and just the simple stone with the spiritual aura of the lord entices scores of devotees every year. 

 

 

The trust of people in the lord is so strong that none of the houses in the wondrous village has doors and locks. People believe that Lord Shani is protecting their valuables from thieves. One is only amazed to see the level of devotion and love for the god that people have. On some of the holiest days like Saturdays, Amavasya and Shri Shaneshchar Jayanti, the enthusiasm and vehemence rise to a next level. Some Hindus worship Lord Shani to please him as the influence of planet Saturn on anyone's life is considered as bad luck. 

 

 

It is believed that many years ago, a shepherd touched the black stone with a pointed rod after which it started bleeding. This astonished the entire village. Later, on the same night, one of the most devoted shepherds saw Lord Shanaishwar in his dream in which he told him that the black stone is his Swayambhu form. The shepherd worshipped the Lord and asked if he should build a temple for him. However, the Lord refused since the colossal sky is the roof for him. Instead, Shanaishwar asked him to perform pooja daily and 'Tailabhisheka' every Saturday. He also ensured that the village would not suffer any loss from thievery and loot. 

 

 

According to another legend, roughly 300 years ago, a slab was found on the shores of the river Panasnala that once flowed through the village. When they touched it with a stick, blood started oozing out of it. Later that night Lord Shani himself appeared in the dreams of the village head, revealing that the slab was his own idol. He told him that the slab should be kept in the village where he will reside from here on. 

 

 

But he had one condition: that it should not be sheltered due to its colossal powers. It’s said that the power of this rock is so divine that it can’t be kept under a roof. There is also a saying that the slab needs to be without shelter so that Shani can oversee the village without hindrance. Shani then blessed the village head and promised to protect the village from any kind of danger. 

 

 

After the slab was enshrined, the villagers decided to boycott the doors. They didn’t need them anymore, not with the Lord to watch over them. 

 

 

 

The Shrine 

 

 

 

The temple is believed to be a "jagrut devasthan" (lit. "alive temple"), meaning that a deity still resides in the temple icon. Villagers believe that god Shani punishes anyone attempting theft. The deity here is "Swayambhu" (self-evolved deity) that is self emerged from earth in form of black, imposing stone. Though no one knows the exact period, it is believed to be in existence at least since the start of Kali yuga. 

 

 

 

The Shani Shignapur Temple has no roofs, doors or walls around. It only has a five and a half feet high black stone, symbolising Lord Shani, placed on a platform. The idol is placed under the open sky, and this makes the temple unique as compared to others. On the idol of Lord Shani, mustard oil is poured continuously from a copper vessel which hangs just above the idol. There are also images of Nandi, Hanuman and Shiva besides Lord Shani. 

 

 

 

Festivals Celebrated at Shani Shingnapur Temple 

 

 

 

Generally, devotees can perform poojas and Abhishekams on any day. But, there are some days which are considered very auspicious. 

 

 

 

1. Shani Amavasya It is also called as a new moon day and is observed as the favourite day of Lord Shanaishwar. Thousands of devotees throng the temple to worship the Lord. The deity is bathed in water, oil and flowers. A procession of Shanaishwar is also carried out. 

 

 

2. Shri Shaneshchar Jayanti On this day, the birth of Lord Shani is celebrated with great pomp and gusto. This festival is celebrated in May. Besides, Saturdays are considered to be auspicious as compared to other days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: 

 

https://www.holidify.com/places/shirdi/shani-shingnapur-sightseeing-3525.html  

https://buoyantfeet.com/2016/11/18/the-myth-of-shani-shingnapur-the-village-of-no-doors/  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shani_Shingnapur