Shani Shingnapur Temple Timings, Distance, History, Rules

by Surojit Palmal
Shani Shingnapur Temple

The temples are popular because of the belief and faith the devotees have on the idol or the deity. And the more powerful and magical the idol is considered the more the number of devotees. One such popular temple is the Shani Shingnapur Temple in Maharashtra. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shani who symbolizes the planet Saturn. According to devotees of Lord Shani, the temple is a powerful one where God still resides and protects his devotees.

It is not just a popular temple in Maharashtra but is one of the most important temples of Lord Shani all over the country. A lot of devotees visit here on a regular basis to appease the God of Luck. So if you are planning a visit to this temple then keep on reading this article. Here I will mention each and everything that you probably need to know about the Shani Shingnapur Temple.

Shani Shingnapur Temple

Location of Shani Shingnapur Temple: Ahmednagar, Nevada Taluka, Maharahtra

Shani Shingnapur Temple timings: The temple is open all day throughout the year

Entry fee of Shani Shingnapur Temple: There is no entry fee

How to reach Shani Shingnapur Temple

By air

If you are travelling by air then the nearest airport to reach the Shani Shingnapur Temple is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. From there the Shani Shingnapur Temple distance is about 289 km. It would take about 6 and a half hours to reach there. You will have to take a cab or hire a car to reach the temple from there. Also the Aurangabad airport is another airport near the temple which is 90 km away.

By train

The nearest railway stations to reach the Shani Shingnapur Temple are Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Rahuri and Shrirampur. From each of the railway stations you can take a cab or you can opt for local transport like auto rickshaw to reach the temple.

By road

If you are travelling within the city then buses are available on this route. You can opt for the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses to travel within the city. From Ahmednagar the temple is 35 km away and from Aurangabad it is 84 km away. A lot of people also travel from Shirdi and the distance is 70 km from there. You can also take an auto rickshaw if you are travelling from nearby. Furthermore you can take your own car or take a hired car to reach there too. You will get parking space around 140 meters of the Shani Shingnapur Temple, so that would not be a hassle.

Best time to visit Shani Shingnapur Temple

Best time to visit Shani Shingnapur Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The ideal time to visit the temple would be between the months of September to November. During that time the weather is pleasant and you will be able to explore the area well. Avoid planning a visit during the summer months as it gets too hot with temperatures above 40 degrees. Also avoid visiting here during monsoon as the incessant rainfall in Maharashtra would dampen your travel spirit.

Overview of Shani Shingnapur Temple

The temple of Shani Shingnapur is a Jeet Devasthan or Jagrut Devasthan that translates to an “Alive Temple” This means that according to the beliefs of the devotees the deity still resides in this temple. Located in Nevasa Taluka of the Ahmednagar district in the state of Maharashtra this temple is dedicated to Shani Mahadev who is associated with the planet Saturn or Shani Grah. This is an extremely popular temple in Maharashtra as well as in the country. The Shani Shingnapur Temple is one of the most important temples dedicated to Shani Dev and people from all over the world visit here to pay their respect to the deity.

Devotees of this temple believe that the God here resides in the black stone which they worship as the deity here. Also they believe that the temple is very magical and powerful too. The idol that is black stone of Lord Shani is Swayambhu or self manifested. The God here emerged on his own to settle in this temple, and people believe that he resides here and guides and protects his devotees. Every year more than lakhs of devotees visit the temple to get blessings from Shani Mahadev here.

What’s more?

On special days like Saturdays, Amavasyas and Shri Shaneshchara Jayanti even more people visit the temple. The Hindu devotees visit this temple, offer pooja and please the God in order to influence the planet Saturn. With the displeasure of the Shani Mahadev who symbolizes Saturn it is believed that it can bring bad luck.

The devotees thus have huge faith and belief in the Lord here and they believe that if he blesses them with his powers then their life will be smooth. It is the belief and faith of the people that makes this such an important temple in Maharashtra.


Shani Shingnapur Temple History

Shani Shingnapur Temple History
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Historically Ahmednagar was a popular region for saints. There is a legend associated with this temple. According to beliefs, one day about 150 years ago a black stone came floating on the water when a young shepherd noticed it. The shepherd touched the stone with a pointed rod and saw blood coming out of it. Extremely surprised, he soon gathered people from the village to show them this. However, that same night itself, Lord Shani appeared in the dream of one of the most pious and devoted shepherds. He told the shepherd that he is Shanaishwara and the black stone is him in Swayambhu form. The Shepherd then prayed to him and therefore Lord Shani asked him to construct a temple for him. Also, he added that there is no need for a roof for him and he would prefer to be under the open sky.

Furthermore he asked the shepherd that there should be daily pooja along with Tailabhisheka that should be done every Saturday. Additionally he also promised that none of the villagers from now onwards should fear theft, burglary or attacks of dacoits.

What’s more?

In accordance with a 400 year old tradition women were not allowed to enter the Shani Shingnapur Temple. However on 26th of January in 2016 activist Trupti Desai along with a group of 500 women marched to the temple in protest. Under the group of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade they demanded the entry of women in the inner sanctum of the temple. But the police however stopped them from entering.

Later in March 2016 there was a historic judgment by Bombay High Court. On the basis of that judgment the Bombay High Court ordered the government of Maharashtra to ensure the entry of women inside the temple. Therefore on 8th of April 2016 the women devotees entered the sanctum to seek the blessing of Lord Shani in the temple.


Architecture of Shani Shingnapur Temple

In this temple the idol for worship is a black rock which is unlike any other temple. The rock is placed on an elevated platform that symbolizes the Godi. This black stone is five and a half feet tall and here devotees can perform pooja and abhishekam on their own. Also there is a trishula or a trident that is there on one side of the image. Along with that there is an image of Nandi Bull on the southern side. Furthermore there are small images of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman here as well.

Significance of Shani Shingnapur Temple

As Lord Shani had promised he would protect the people in the village from theft there are actually no locks or doors in any of the houses. Also surprisingly there were no instances of theft till 2010. However in 2010 and 2011 there were people who tried to steal. But according to beliefs the people who committed the crime died instantly.

Shani Shingnapur Temple Rules

1.       On the platform to worship the idol only men can perform pooja.

2.       Before the pooja the devotees must take a head bath. Also they should get on the platform in wet clothes to offer pooja.

3.       The devotees should not wear any cap or cloth on their head. They should have a bare head.

4.       For the worship the devotees should carry water only from the holy well.

5.       Also for worship devotees can use sesame oil.

Festivals in Shani Shingnapur Temple

Some of the popular festivals in the Shani Shingnapur Temple are Shri Shaneshchar Jayanti, Ashadi Ekdashi and Ekanath Sasthi that attract the most number of devotees here.

Shri Shaneshchar Jayanti

This day is the birth day of Lord Shani. From Chaitra Shuddha Dashami to Chaitra Vadya Pratipada they celebrate this festival. The priest chants the name of the God continuously and also performs Granthraj Dnayaneshwari Parayan.

Ashadi Ekadashi

The temple started celebrating the Ashadi Ekadashi from 1991 and from then they are celebrating the festival every year. For this festival the Shaneshwar Palki is taken on foot from Shani Shingnapur to Pandharpur. All the trustees and the devotees of Lord Shani participate in this festival.

Ekanath Sasthi

This festival also started in 1991 and every year the devotees and trustees participate in the festival. The Palki is taken on foot and with great fanfare everyone takes part in the festival.

On a daily basis the temple recorded a footfall of 13, 000 visitors. However, on special days the number goes up to 30, 000 to 45, 000 devotees. And on the most auspicious day of Amavasya it goes up even more. According to beliefs it is the most auspicious day in order to please Lord Shani on the day of Amavasya which is the no moon day.

Wrapping Up!

Now that you have all the information about the Shani Shingnapur Temple, plan a visit to the temple. You can also opt for Shani Shingnapur Temple online booking from their official site as well. So when are you planning a visit to this powerful temple in Maharashtra? Also let me know if this article on the Shani Shingnapur Temple is helpful for you in planning a successful trip to this location.

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