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Shani Shingnapur – the village with no doors on houses

April 26, 2009

Shani Shingnapur, also known as Sonai, is a village in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Situated in Nevasa taluka in Ahmadnagar district, the village is known for its popular temple of Shani, the Hindu god of the planet (graha) Saturn.

Shani Shingnapur Temple

Shani Shingnapur Temple

Shingnapur is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has doors, only door frames. Despite this, no theft is reported in the village. Villagers never keep their valuables under lock and key. Legend says that the temple is a “jagrut devasthan” (lit. “alive temple”), meaning that the god here is very powerful. They believe that god Shani punishes anyone attempting theft. Devotees, pilgrims and tourists arriving in Sonai can leave their valuables in a car or bus with all the doors unlocked and not worry about anyone stealing it. The only barrier to enter a house are curtains which keep out stray animals. People believe that nobody dares to steal anything because they are punished by Shanishwara, the local deity, and the owner has always got the stolen things back – if any such thing ever happens.

The village has a post office and a high school known as Shri Shanishwar Vidya Mandir besides the primary schools run by the Zilla Parishad. The chief source of water supply in the villages is wells.

Shrine of Shani
The shrine for Shani compromises of a five and a half feet high black rock installed on an open-air platform, which symbolizes the god Shani. 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.

Shrine

Shrine

Generally, the temple has 30-40,000 visitors a day, which swells to around three lakh (i.e. three hundred thousand) on amavasya (the new moon day), believed to the most auspicious day to appease Lord Shani. The village holds a fair in honour of the deity on this day. A bigger fair on new moon days that fall on Saturdays. Devotees bathe Lord Shani’s image with water and oil and offer flowers, and udid to him. A palanquin procession of Shani is held on the day of the fair. Other festivals include the birthday of Shani, Shani Jayanti.

Devotees generally wear a saffron-coloured attire and have a head bath in the holy water close to the temple before entering it. There is no priest to perform the pooja. The pooja is carried out in the form of offering Pradakshinams – of going around the idol a couple of times, chanting specific prayers such as Shani gayathri and slokas. Devotees also perform Abhishekam with water and gingelly oil.

Some facts about Shani Shingnapur
1. The idol is out in the open, as the Lord made it clear in various ways to his devotees, that He did not want to be covered.

2. The temple is open for everyone twenty-four hours. Even at night, men (women are not allowed near the deity) can bring the puja material and perform all prayers by themselves.

3. No house / shop in the village has doors. It’s believed that the deity protects them and if someone tries to steal or do something wrong, they would be paralysed.

Getting There
Road
Shani Shingnapur is 350km from Mumbai and to reach there it’s best to hire a taxi from Mumbai. Long-distace cabbies from Mumbai take about 7 hours to reach Shani Shingnapur. Although there are MSTC (Maharashtra State Transport Corp) buses from Mumbai to Shirdi (60 km from Shani Shingnapur) and privatly-operated buses as well, locals advise not to attempt the bumpy, shaky ride on the MSTC buses, nor the long, frequent-stopping private buses.

Air
The nearest airport is Aurangabad (144 Km) which is connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with other cities/towns.

Rail
Trains from Mumbai leave for Nasik (123Km) and Manmad (60Km).

Accommodation
The village, being a very small one, does not offer any accommodation for the devotees, though there is a Dharmastala nearby where the devotees are fed. Since the village is about 60 km. from Shirdi, it is advisable to stay at Shirdi and visit this unique temple.

Shirdi Hotels

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Hotel Shraddha Park Inn
Pimplewadi Road, Shirdi
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Hotel Sai Leela
9/5A, Pimpalwadi Road, Shirdi
200 km. from Pune Airport, 16 km. from Kopargaon Railway Station, 80 km. from Nashik Railway Station, 50 km. from Manmad Railway Station, 270 km. from Mumbai.
Located near the Sai Baba temple. 90 elegantly furnished rooms categorized into 4 Single Rooms, 70 Double Rooms and 16 Deluxe Rooms. All rooms have a private balcony with a panoramic view, attached bathroom with running hot and cold water, Television with satellite connection, direct dial telephone, wooden furniture, spacious closets and radio. The hotel has both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned rooms.
24 hours room service with no service charge, pool tables, table tennis, carom, video games, no tax on food, buffet service available for large groups, 24 hour security, 24 hour amenities shop, car wash facility at a nominal charge, free pick-up and drop to temple, a 6000 square feet swimming pool, water park facilities, slides and upcoming water gun pool, children’s playground, luscious green gardens, cricket nets, basketball, volleyball, mini golf, putting course, cycling track and jogging track and nursery with plants for sale.


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  • n k bansal

    thanx to all who have given their valuable comments.. i am planning to visit next month.. i wll be aware of those locals..

  • papia

    you are right. visitors are more honest then the shopkeeper.

  • Ashok Kamath

    Shani shignapur is a powerful place and one must be blessed to visit the shrine.There are people outside the temple who misguide you as to rituals and procedures just to extract money.Taking flowers and sesame oil is desirable when you go inside the temple.There is water inside to clean your feet and the oil has to be put into a netted vat which gets pumped on to the shrine.Sitting in the open space near the shrine is very peaceful .

  • Vidyasagar

    I HAD VISITED SHANI SHINGNAPUR THIS WEEK, IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE BY SEEING THE GOD..UNLIKE OTHER GODS..SHANI DEV IS IN OPEN PLACE..AND ALWAYS THAILAM IS PUMPING TO GOD FOR DOING ABHISHEKA

    APART THAT,I GOT DIFFERENT EXPERINCE. SHOP KEEPERS ARE IN THAT HOLY PLACE ARE CHEATERS AND BEHAVING LIKE GOONDAS..ACTUALLY WE 6 PEOPLE TOOK A CAB FROM SHIRDI AND CAME TO THIS PLACE..THAT CAB DRIVER PARKED THE CAR INFRONT OF ONE SHOP..WHEN WE GET DOWN THE CAR, SHOPKEEPER ASKED US TO COME TO KNOW ABOUT POOJA BASKET WHICH WAS FULL OF FLOWERS AND YANTRAS. AND HE SAID IF U WISH THEN ONLY BUY, WHEN I ENQUIRED COST FOR THAT HE SAID 350/-RS..BUT WE REJECTED AND WE STARTED TO WALKING TOWARDS TEMPLE..ONE PERSON FROM THAT SHOP CAME TO US AND SAID “U CAN’T ALLOWED THE TEMPLE WITHOUT FLOWERS, EVEN WE NEGLECTED AND STARTED WALKING, THEN HE THREATEND US U PEOPLE CAN’T GO BACK TO SHIRDI WITHOUT BUYING THE POOJA ITEMS FROM THEM”. AFTER HEARING THOSE WORDS..I GOT ANGRY AND SCOLDED HIM AND TOOK HIS CHALLENGE WITHOUT FEAR. THEN HE SIMPLY WENT OFF MY SIGHT..

    SEEMS CAB DRIVERS HAS CONNCETIONS WITH SHOP KEEPERS AND THEY R PLANNING FOR TRAP.

    BE CAREFUL SUCH THINGS..THERE R MANY CHEATERS ARE THERE..

    • Travel On The Dollar

      Thanks for the tips. We have heard a lot of stories about the shrine being commercialized and the cab drivers ganging up with the local shop-owners and hotels. And we always ask our readers to be vigilant and careful.

  • Nilesh

    Jai ho shani dev………jai ho dham shani shingnapur

  • santosh agarwal

    jiska kaam nahi ho raha ho wo shani dew ka naam dil se le le kaam apne aap ho jayega. jai shani maharaj kee

  • uugy

    good website

  • Sankar

    One has to visit this place in his lifetime. I am a first time goer to this place and the shopkeeper has charged me Rs 500/- for a thali. Disgusting. Cheating!!! People even dont spare the holiest places. Why the concept of theft in Singanapur ? People are stealing us through these thali’s.

  • nikhil

    it is an usefull site for those how want 2 visit bt dont know the information or importance of that place………

  • RAJESH

    THANKS FOR UR OPINION

  • Balarajan

    Hi Dears, Thank you for your comments of both sides. They will be helpful for new devotees. These kind of venders may be set up with purpose by the Lord Shani Bhagavan. We do not know. It may be to test the ego or buy people’s bad karmas. We do not know. Of course, every one must be aware of this kind of business. At the same time we must be aware of our each and every action at this shrine of Lord Shani Bhagavan. Some advices are more useful, i.e take own orange dresses and other neccessary thali iteam along with you from where we leave.
    Leave ego and leave all bad thoughts about venders even though it is true, aside before you go with loving heart to the Lord Shani Bhagavan shrine. The rest He would look after you. Bless you all.

  • praveen kumar

    friends i feel very excited when i reached at shani dham, its dream that one day i will go there, its a very beatiful and attractive place.

    jai shani dev

  • PAVAN SHRIVASTAVA

    i have seen this beautiful temple

  • ganesh rakhamaji shelke

    if you have faith you can do anything.we should believe and faith on shanidevta. jay shanidev

  • sunil

    I was just reading about peoples experence in shani singnapur.I also had to go through the same problem.

    But one think we have to keep in mind is that whoever cheats us he will be punished by shani dev.

    when we are in shani signapur we are in shani dev custody we should forget how the vendors have behaved and cheated us he will repay it in some way or the other just because of some greedy vendors we should not be dishearted and happly go and take shani dev darsan.

  • Prashanth

    I have read a lot of comments which tell that the Shopkeepers are cheats and charge exhorbitantly for pooja thalis. However,somebody who is a regular to this place or who has observed them all can mention on this post what all pooja items comprises of the thali. This will enable people to carry their own stuff from wherever they are visiting. A mention about all that is required without approaching any shopkeepers would be perfect ( Including the orange dress – what attire for men and what for women)

  • keshab upadhyay

    I visited shani singhanapur on 2nd oct 2011.The shopkeepers r really a kind of looters.I am lead to the nearby shop and said that i need to take puja thali which cost rs 160.We were four from our family and said that each of us have to take each thali of cost rs 160 each and hence forcing us to pay rs 640 for 4 puja thali.I objected it and somehow manage to leave the place buying 1 thali.He warn us that since we have not bought 4 thali so there will be some kind of danger from god Shani.
    This incidence really discourage us very much.The shop is just adjacent to the washing shower area.(corner of car parking area)

    Keshab Upadhyay
    Pokhara,Nepal.

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  • ajay

    if you are going shirdi must book room from sai sansthan website that are very cheap try dwaravati dharamshala there are 400 rooms a/c non a/c available,for eating purpose use sai rasoi 10/&40/ pp unlimted,but be care full from market if youwish to buy limca half ltr mrp is 25/- they will sell you on 35/ or 45/,if you ask them why you are charging so high then they reply you in abuseing words there is no one hear you
    if you take lunch in market chapati like papad will cost you rs. 10 each. any thing you buy from market charges are triple so visit sai rasoi for dinner stay with dwarawati tea is cost rs. 1 milk cost rs. 1.5use govr. buses for shani dham they are cheap but not cheat

  • ajay

    i visit shani dham on 31/8/11 to 4/9/11,as per views of some visitors who visit there an early time,i want to tell you that now there is some changes ,now no one take bath in holy water no need to take orange cloth no need to pay oil on shani ji,simply go do the namaskar & return back male female kids can go till shani ji statue,but be care full with taxi drivers,shopkeepers they will harras you also scared you to buy items from them do not buy any thing stritcly banned all those items in mandir,one thing also note that if you want to go shani dham from shirdi must take bus donot use taxi you will be safe9213382135

  • siri

    it is a wonderful place, so many happens in my life, always god saved me. everyone should visit& praised this god.

  • Mahendra Kumar Panda

    Jay Shani Dev !
    I read all the comments above. Thanks the visitors for their valuable comments Actually I have also visited the holy place with my family. The financial punishment are varies on persons. At every tirtha sthala’s such type of cheating happens. Pl. remove it from your mind and think that you have cheated some one knowing or unknowingly, which is happening with you here.
    Lord Shani is Great. He will heard your prayer, if visited once. May Lord Shani bless you all.
    Jay Shanidev.

  • Abhijit Parekh

    I am planning to visit this place in the next month with my family then tell me about the details and information about the route and also about the cheaters.

    • Travel On The Dollar

      Abhijit,
      All the information you asked for are on this post.

  • Ashutosh

    Shani Shingnapur is a very powerful place. Friends,it’s my own experience.Make at least one visit to the place in your life and take darshan of Shani Dev. I am sure that will change your entire life.Leave your ego outside the border of Shani Shingnapr,bow down before Shani Dev and pray him.Shani Maharaj shall always be with you throughout your life, in your difficult times.

  • Surinder Rana

    I want to see this wonderful place.

  • siva

    Yes, This Shani Signapore is very nice place…

    when I see this news in T.V i was happy about that village and be an INDIAN..

    Yes, That is real from past 200(or more) years on-wards and continue till going the great culture in MH, INDIA

  • http://srijansrishti.com sachin saraswat

    Dear sir,
    if anybody is going for first time to this place then beware the taxis /shared autos stops in front of known shops .the people will come n give a cloth to u & say that whatever u like u can pay them…& later on once u change your clothes they will ask for heavy amount for pooja thali.if u dont purchase from them they will send some local boy with u n no shopkeeper will give u pooja clothes …i read the story of somebody on net so i was very well prepared n ask about the price first they told me a thali is of Rs 150..I send my wife to unknown shop n she got a prayer thali for Rs 50 while the other shopkeepers do tell me that they have a union n i can’t purchase thali from anywhere else as the boy after me keep on telling me that i m from this shop n don’t give me pooja thali in marathi.Others in jeep has to pay Rs 170 for which the same shopkeeper has asked for Rs 70.So beware …when v r in unkown place with wife n kids u can’t fight local union …they the shopkeepers in shanishingnapur r cheats …so negotiate n then purchase n try to disperse if u r in group.

    • http://google prashant sabat

      ya the same problem happened with me the shopkeepers are very rude to us if we ignore to buy their highly cost prayer thali once we ignore then they ask us to returned thier orange clothes to them,as everybody knows in shani singnapur we need to wear orange clothes after that we can touch to the statue of lord shani dev so my advice to every devotee is that to carry your own orange clothes so that u can take your own managed prayer thali.

    • yogendra

      thanx sachin for such a valuable suggesstions …i am planning with my family to visit there

    • amit

      Thanks for this useful info. i am planning to visit this place next week & now will aware from such kind of cheaters there.
      Thanks again

    • kamal kakra

      very usefull information.

  • Umesh

    Visiting this holy place a great experience to me.

  • saransh

    i would love to go here thank u for such a useful site

  • sunny johri

    this is a very usefull site to me

  • vishwanath

    had been to shanishinganapur to seek blessings, was a great experience to embrace the swayambu of lord saturn,also i was fully soaked in the seasame oil

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