Shani Shingnapur is a must visit destination from Shirdi. It is perhaps the most popular place of religious interest for all Shani Dev devotees. Most devotees of Sai Baba when visiting Shirdi make it a point to pay their obeisance to the Shani Temple at Shani Shingnapur.
Shani Shingnapur is about 75 km from Shirdi and the interesting part about Shani Shingnapur is that people here do not lock their houses. It is believed that Shani Dev keeps their belongings safe and secure.
How to reach Shani Shingnapur from Shirdi?
Reaching Shani Shingnapur from Shirdi is easy as there are shared taxis available at regular intervals. The temple of Shani Dev at Shani Shingnapur is about 6 km from Ghodegaon on Aurangabad-Ahmednagar Highway. It is about 84 km away from Aurangabad and 35 km from Ahmednagar. You may not find regular buses to Shani Shingnapur but the route is well serviced by private taxis.
Shared taxis (Tata Sumo, Tata Ace…etc) to Shani Shingnapur are available from Shirdi at regular intervals. It is convenient if you are in a group, in that case you can book the complete vehicle. Generally, vehicles do not move until all the seats are full. It takes close to two hours to reach Shani Shingnapur from Shridi.
You need at least 5-6 hours to complete the Shani Shingnapur darshan and return to Shirdi. Early morning is the best time to start for Shani Shingnapur from Shirdi. There won’t be much traffic and you can reach Shani Shingnapur comfortably. The temple at Shani Shingnapur gets crowded later in the day.
On the way to Shani Shingnapur or while returning, you may see bulls being used to extract cane juice. It is worth stopping by and having a look. If you like, you can have a glass of fresh cane juice.
Shani Shingnapur Temple
The Shani temple is well maintained by Shri Shaneshwar Devasthan Turst. It is neat and well organised. There is proper parking for vehicles at distance of 500 meters from the Shani Shingnapur temple. There are many shops selling parsad and it is up to you what you want to offer to Shani Dev. Generally the driver of your vehicle acts as guide and tells you the procedure. They have tie-ups with shops and they park or take you to the same shop, which they have tie-up with. They ask you to leave your shoes in the vehicle, though there is proper place to leave your shoes at the temple entrance.
Shani Dev is present here in the form of a black slab and there is no roof above it. It is placed on a platform under open sky and that’s what makes it different from other Shani temples. One of the legends has it that the slab came here during a flood and got stuck in a tree. When some villagers tried to remove it, blood started dripping out of the slab. Bewildered and frightened they ran away. On that night Shani Dev appeared in dream of a villager and asked him that he had decided to stay in that form and that he could only be lifted out by those who were uncle and nephew in relation and carried in a bullock cart with black bullocks. Next day, when villagers were carrying the idol they stopped at Shani Shingnapur but when they tried to lift the stone idol, they could not. So they decided to install it where it stood.
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