A village that has come to be known as the safest village in India. This is the tale of Shani Shingnapur in the Indian state of Maharashtra, where residents abandon security due to their unwavering faith in Lord Shani, who is regarded as the village’s protector. This is a village of 4000 people and has been known for a long time for having houses with no doors. The only thing you’ll find instead is the door frames marking the entrance to the house.
The Legend of Shani Shingnapur
If you’ve heard about Shani Shingnapur, you may also be familiar with the 300-year-old legend surrounding the village. If not, there’s no need to worry because we’ve got you covered. In the legend, as told by the villagers, there once was an instance of heavy rainfall when the villagers discovered a black stone slab that had washed up on the Panasnala River’s banks.
The most interesting part is that when they pricked it, blood began to pour out. The same night, the village chief had a dream in which Lord Shani commanded him to build a shrine in his name, and in return, he would protect the village from any harm. The only condition was to keep the shrine without a roof.
Why Women Were Not Allowed Inside Shani Shingnapur Temple?
It was earlier prohibited for women to enter the inner sanctum of the shrine. However, it’s not because of some gender inequality. The reason may be associated with the common belief that some energies reside in spiritual places.
Similarly, in the inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple near the idol, there are some very high energies, so high that they may even affect women’s bodies, especially pregnant women. However, in January 2016, the rules changed after a group of more than 500 women marched to the temple.
Interesting Thing About Shani Shingnapur
No-Door Police Station
The village does not seem to stop surprising us with its no-door policy. When the police station was established here, it was also built without any locks or doors in honour of the low recorded crime rate, which was close to none. Surprised? Well, don’t be, because there’s more to the story. Even after the opening of the police station, there have been no crimes reported thereafter either.
How could that be possible? It is the belief of the villagers that whosoever steals or does a wrongful act, will face a period of seven and a half years of bad luck. There would be something bad happening in the life of that person, whether it’s a loss in business, sickness, accident or death.
First Lockless UCO Bank Branch
Following the reports of a low to zero crime rate, UCO Bank was the first bank in India to operate a lockless branch in the Shani Shingnapur village. There are doors, however, they always remain open. When spoken to by the staff, it was found that even though the gates remain open, there are proper safety measures in place. The bank has a glass entryway and a scarcely visible remote-controlled electromagnetic lock to maintain security while also respecting the villager’s sentiments. There aren’t even any doors in any of the village shops or the post office.
What’s It Like Now?
Even today, there is not a single house with a door. People don’t even ask their neighbours to keep watch over their houses while they are away. The villagers placed the huge slab on a roofless platform in the centre of the village and decided to discard all doors and locks. They didn’t need them anymore, with the promise of protection from Lord Shiva. Although in recent times some villagers now are seeking permission from the gram panchayat to install locks for their family’s safety.
Shani Shingnapur attracts visitors and worshippers alike from all over the country to get Lord Shani’s blessing. Due to its strange lifestyle and the legend surrounding the village. Offerings filled with devotion and love from the followers made it possible for the shrine to grow into a rather large temple. Despite its popularity, the community has kept faithful to its reputation and has not used any locks.
India is full of wonders that the rest of the world cannot fathom. Please share with us in the comments section if you want to share such impressive and distinctive temples of the country.
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