Shani Maharaj Temple
A renowned Hindu shrine devoted to Lord Shanidev called the “Shani Maharaj Temple” is located in Maharashtra. This temple dedicated to a “God linked to the planet Saturn” is located in a village called Shingnapur in the Ahmednagar district. According to a myth the idol inside this temple comprising of Lord Shanidev made up large black stones is said to be “self-made” i.e. Swayambhu. In addition, there is also a belief that exists amongst the villagers in this village that the deity in this temple i.e. Shanidev is their sole protector.
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a. Best time to visit Shani Maharaj Temple
The ideal time to visit this temple is during the winter season which begins in October and ends in February when the climate is extremely pleasant with the minimum temperature dropping to about 22 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Shani Maharaj Temple
Shani Maharaj Temple Map
1. By train:
The nearest station to this temple is located in Ahmednagar. The Ahmednagar Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country such as Pune, Manmad, Dhaund, Goa, Nashik etc.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be Kolhapur, Mumbai, Pune, and Ratnagiri.
- Via Kolhapur:
There are three routes from Kolhapur to this temple, and they are via NH48 and Shirur-Satara Road, via NH48, and via NH204.
- Via Mumbai:
There are three routes from Mumbai to this temple, and they are via NH160, via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway and Beed-Ahmednagar Pune Road/Kopergaon-Shirdi-Ahmednagar-Pune Highway.
- Via Pune:
There are three routes from Pune to this temple, and they are via Beed-Ahmednagar-Pune Road/Kopargaon-Shirdi-Ahmednagar-Pune Highway, via Phule Nagar-Akluj Road and Aurangabad-Ahmednagar-Pune Highway, and via Beed-Ahmednagar-Pune Road.
- Via Ratnagiri:
There are three routes from Ratnagiri to this temple,and they are via Shirur-Satara Road, via MH SH 68, and via Washimbe-PawarVasti Road.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this temple is located in Aurangabad. The Aurangabad Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance of the Shani Maharaj Temple
According to popular folklore one shepherd from among a group happened to touch a stone with pointed rod in the Shingnapur village. This touch by the shepherd then resulted in blood oozing from this stone which shocked the group of shepherds. Now later that night Lord Shanidev himself appeared in the dream of the most pious shepherd. According to the dream the shepherd was informed that the black stone that had been touched was the “swayambhu” i.e. self-made form of Shanidev himself. In response the shepherd asked him (Shanidev) whether he should construct a temple. In response Shanidev replied that he did not need a temple since he preferred to live under open sky. Hence this shrine as per the wishes of Shanidev was constructed as an “open air temple” and not enclosed.