On the way to Ahmednagar Railway station we took the diversion to Shinganapur. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Shani.
The temple is unique, in the sense that the idol is not housed inside any building. The idol is a big black stone slab placed on a high pedestal and it is in the open. The common belief is that all efforts to build a temple around it have been in vain. People who tried to build a structure around it got dreams and visions with messages like, ‘I don’t need shelter and do not want to live in any body’s insignia of royalty.”
Another uniqueness of this temple is that only male devotees can offer prayers. And unlike other temples the devotees can carry out the abhishek (prayersand offerinngs)all by themselves without the intervention or assistance of the priests there.
A neem tree there is almost always leaf less, so they say. The belief is even the shade of that tree is not acceptable to Lord Shani. See the contrast between the two trees in the picture. I would like to add here that I am not sure whether the tree is always like that and this picture is taken on 29 Dec. 2007.
The village around the temple is also one of its kinds, in this world. What is most unique and striking feature of this village is that, none of the houses here have doors, yes NO DOORS. People of this village for centuries have never built doors to their houses. The façade of each and every house and shop has just a rectangular hollow space in the wall and the footwear outside indicate the entry and exit point.
I went around there shocked at the sight. I was trying to remember the number of latches and locks I have in the doors of my house, not only in the main door but also in the doors of each room. The people of this village have never purchased a latch or lock in their whole life. They have never experienced a theft either. Their blind faith that whoever steals will be punished by Lord Shani and whatever is stolen soon returns back to the losers. Gave me goose bumps listening to their story.
The windows of this house had no grills.
This lady told me that even her grandparents’ house had no doors. During severe winters they place a wooden plank, thats all, no latches or locks.
Shinganapur is 6 kms from Ghodegaon on Aurangabad-Ahmednagar road. The road is motorable and in good condition. This is my last travel post on my visit to Aurangabad. Writing about each of these places was like revisiting them again.