Location - Shingnapur is a village located in Maharashtra. It is located about 60 kilometers from the famous pilgrimage place of Shirdi and is around 350 kilometers from Mumbai, the capital city. This place is also known as the Shaneshwar Devasthan, in the Naivasa Taluka of District Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
Main Deity - The presiding deity of this village is Lord Shani Dev or the planet Saturn. Here, the diety does not have a temple built. Instead, a carved black stone is placed on a stage like platform at the center of the hamlet. It is believed that the stone structure emerged out of the land on it own.
The statue is about 5 feet high and has a trishool (trident) at the side. There are idols of Shiva, Hanuman and even Nandi alongside the Shani idol.
Legend - It is believed that a shepherd first noticed a black stone emerging out of the ground. Tentatively, he poked the stone with his stick. The place where he poked started bleeding and Shani Dev appeared. He asked the shepherd to never create a temple for him but to do "Tailabhishekam" - ritual oil bath every Saturday. Since then, Saturday has become a special day for lord Shani. In Hindi Shani+var = saturday, Lord Shani's day.
Specialties - The people of this town fiercely believe in the power of Shani Dev. Interestingly, the entire town has no police station, as it is believed that Shani Dev would punish the wrong doers.
The homes, do not have any doors or windows. There are thin curtains for privacy sake. People go about their work and even go on vacations without locking their doors. They also do not keep any valuables or jewellary locked. There is absolutely no fear of robbery or theft of valuables as whoever does so would incur the wrath of Shani dev.
In 2011, a bank opened a "lockless" branch where even the banks door would always remain open.People here believe that since, lord Shani is protecting them, no crimes will ever occur here.
According to Hindu Astrology, Shani Dev or Saturn is the seventh among the nine planets which govern the world. The seventh house is suppossed to be of "luck". Hence it is important to keep Shani Dev happy. If once committs a crime or the house of saturn is heavy, then one may face the "Saade-Saati" or seven and a half years of Bad luck.
Festivals and Prayers - Saturdays are the busiest Puja days. Shani Trayodasi and Amavasya days are celebrated in a grand manner. During these days, lakhs of devotees visit the shrine to offer their respects to the Saturn lord.
In this place, their are no priests. Devotees can offer their own Pujas at the shrine. Men are allowed to climb the platform and touch the Lord. They have to however, wear a saffron colored attire, which has to be wet from a recent bath. Women can worship without climbing up on the platform.
Oil, coconut, beetle nut, rice and turmeric are some of the things that are offered to the lord
How to Reach - One can drive to this place (about 1.5 hours) from Shirdi. State buses also run for round trips to Shingnapur. The village is well connected to Ahmadnagar, Mumbai, Pune and other major cities.
Nearest Airport - Aurangabad (90 km)
Nearest Railway Station - Srirampur
Nearby Places to See
Samadhi of Sri Udasi Baba