Shani-Shingnapur is a famous pilgrim centre near Nashik in Maharashtra, which is also known for its doorless mystery. The unique feature of Shani-Shingnapur is that there is neither any image of specific deity nor any particular idol, but there is a stone pillar, which is supposed to embody the image, which is worshipped with deep respect and reverence.
The speciality of this temple is that there is no image or
Pandit who performs the puja. Male devotees before entering into the
temple take a head bath in the holy waters close to the temple and wear
saffron cloth. The puja is carried out in the form of Pradakshanas, where
in the devotee go around the idol a couple of times, chanting prayers.
Devotees also perform 'Abhishekas' (rites involving pouring of certain liquids over the idol) with water and 'Til' (mustard) oil. Thousands of people including a few famous personalities gather on Shani Amvasaya to perform Puja.
In this village one can find the houses having gaping, rectangular spaces at the facade of every home. No doorframes, no latches, no padlocks or any other safety measures to guard the house are found. It is believed that nobody dares to steal anything because then it is believed that if they do so Shani Deva, the local deity, punishes them. It has been proved that even if something is stolen, the owner has always got the stolen things back. There is also a belief that if a snake in Shinganapur bites a person, he is brought to the temple and a ritual is performed in front of the idol, which neutralises the poison.
Devgad is a village located to the east of Shaneshwar, which is famous for Shri Datta temple. The temple is open for the visitors for 24 hours. There is another belief attached to this place that the Neem tree standing to the North of the Shani idol sheds its branches if one happens to cast a shadow over the idol. Shiridi is another major pilgrim centre of Maharashtra and India, which is very close to Shani-Shingnapur.
Air: The nearest airport is Nashik,
which is 160-km from Shinganapur.
Rail: Tourists can access this place from either Manmad or Nashik as both places have railway stations.
Road: Nashik being the major pilgrim centre of Maharashtra is well connected by road. State transport services ply buses between Nasik and Shinganapur. They can take buses from Manmad and Shirdi also.
Being a very small place it has no suitable accommodation. It is advisable to stay at Shirdi.