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Shani Shinganapur, Aurangabad

Shani Shinganapur Overview

Address: 84 Kms from Aurangabad City: Aurangabad State: Maharashtra Location: West India Type of Building: Temple Religion: Hinduism Importance: Unlike other pilgrimage centres the devotees can perform pooja or abhishek and other religious rituals themselves. Festival: Shani Amavasya Accomodation: Accomodations are available at Aurangabad. Accesibility: Aurangabad is well connected with other cities by road. It may sound incredible to hear that there exists a village in India where houses have no doors. But this village, 360 km. from Mumbai, stands as proof for the statement made. Shani Shinganapur, a village, is famous as a pilgrimage centre apart from its door-less mystery. The houses here have gaping, rectangular space with no door frames, latches, padlocks or any other safety measure to guard them. The door-less architecture makes its presence felt right from the famous temple Sri Shaneshwar Graha Devatha. Shanishwara safeguards the houses and the villagers abstain from meat, liquor and theft for fear of the Lord. 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 presiding deity of Shinganapur, Sri Shanishwara the personification of the planet Saturn is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion by multitudes of people from all over the world. The spectacle of the deity in black stone is overwhelming. A unique aspect of this place is that no temple structure houses the Shanidev. There is only a simple platform on which stands the swayambhu (self-born) idol, in black stone. A Neem tree stands sentinel to the North of the Shani idol. 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. There is also a belief that if a person is bitten by a snake in Shinganapur and is brought near the idol and a ritual is performed, the poison gets neutralised. 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.

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