Thursday, November 28, 2013


Lord Shani!
I have heard about Shani Shingnapur from a number of people. The thing that most struck me was what I had heard about houses having no doors as the people felt quite safe under the protection of Lord Shani. Venkat had visited the shrine once before.

The entrance
We hired a car on Tuesday morning and went to Shani Shingnapur. The temple is about 70 km from Shirdi. The only problem is that half the distance is covered on horrible roads. The driver took more than an hour to traverse the tortured 30 km and then another forty five minutes for the rest of the distance. We reached the town at around 12.15 pm after a scenic drive full of green fields. I managed to see grapevines, sugarcane fields, flowering plants and a farm full of brinjal plants.

Bullock carts loaded with sugarcane
We passed by a number of bullock carts loaded with freshly cut sugarcane that was being carted to a nearby sugar factory.

Near the car park
I just loved seeing all those wooden sugarcane juice machines that were being run by bullocks. I insisted on stopping at one to have fresh cane juice on our return journey.

That's me at the entrance
We reached the temple area and parked the car. Many vendors approached us to sell til oil and flower trays. They also insisted that Venkat should not wear a leather belt and that we should remove our footwear right there. Venkat had already had an experience of walking a long distance on the hot roads without slippers during his earlier trip. He refused to remove either his footwear or belt and told me that we should go on till someone officially stopped us.

This majestic king of the forests was guarding the entrance
No one did, actually! We had to walk for about 5-6 minutes to reach the temple complex. I was so relieved to see that there were no rules here at Shani Shingnapur. We left our footwear at a counter manned by the temple employees and walked into the temple with our mobiles and my camera. There was no one to tell me not to take pictures. It was a joy to walk in. While there was a crowd, there were no snaking lines. We all had the freedom to walk in and take darshan to our hearts’ content. The stone – a swayambhu – depicting Lord Shani is placed in the centre of a compound with a metal railing. One could walk around and pray at will. There were a couple of security personnel who just kept a watch without interfering. There were a few pundits ready to offer pooja if anyone was interested.

For meditation
We walked up to the deity and prayed peacefully for a few minutes. Then we walked around the compound, checking out the different counters.

Venkat chanting 'OM'
There were two tall structures where one could meditate. While they were not in the shape of pyramids, they had a high ceiling and Venkat’s voice echoed when he chanted OM a few times. It was nice!

Farmers and cattle relaxing after delivering sugarcane to the factory

There is a huge garden in the front. We sat there for a few minutes before leaving the temple, totally satisfied with Shani Bhagavan’s darshan.

A house without a door
We left the temple to visit the village by car, checking out the houses. It was amazing to see that they really had no doors. Some of them had curtains while the others not even that. I managed to click a couple of pictures of this incredible phenomenon.


  1. I hope to visit it to someday, till then thanks for the virtual tour ! :)

  2. Thankyou Mam for such a useful post, was going to Nashik with friends and was in search of more places around it. Will visit SHANI SHINGNAPUR too. It would be great if would please help me with some budgeted staying options nearby?

  3. Dear Aarushi,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and posting a comment. I don't know of any place to stay at Shani Shingnapur. I saw that almost everyone had come there for a visit from places nearby. Like I had gone there from Shirdi which is about a couple of hours away from here. I can help you with hotels in Shirdi. Here are the links:
    and a good place to eat vegetarian Andhra meal:

    I hope this is of help to you :)

  4. Very Well written post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Shani Shingnapur Temple is really amassing place. You can also check my post at Shani Shingnapur Temple History at