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Thousands of Sai Baba devotees throng to Shirdi, one of India’s most popular places of worship in Maharashtra. The faith of the people is so much that many opt to walk the distance than reach by a car or public transport. If you are planning a trip to Shirdi any time soon, here is our two-day Shirdi itinerary for you. But about 72 km from Shirdi lies the small village of Shani Shingnapur that is one of the most unique places in the world. Why so? Because it is a village where people do not have doors or locks! Yes, the villagers are so trusting that they do not need to put locks on their doors or even have doors for that matter for their safety. What’s more, in 2011, it got its first bank that did not have locks. Despite this, the village remained crime-free for several years apart from a few cases of robbery being reported in the past few years. Also Read - Shirdi Bandh on Jan 19: Sai Temple to Remain Open Tomorrow
The reason for this unconditional trust by the villagers has a reason too. The place is named after lord Shanidev or the Saturn planet who is worshipped by one and all in the village. The temple which has a black rock for an idol is believed to be alive and the people trust god Shani to protect them all and keep them safe. So strong is their faith that they do not feel the need to have doors or locks. The villagers believe that their god will punish anyone who steals from the temple or them. For the longest time, the area was declared crime-free making it unique in its own way. Also Read - Shirdi to be Closed Indefinitely From January 19 Against Maharashtra CM's 'Birthplace' Remark
Another interesting fact of this place is that people who come here to worship the deity do not have to stand in long queues unlike at other places of worship. They even don’t have to wait for a priest to offer prayers here. They need to take a head bath and then proceed to the temple in wet clothes and offer their prayers and take blessings of the deity. The villagers consider any full moon night falling on a Saturday to be the most auspicious day and have a yatra (festival) organized where thousands of devotees of lord Shani come from different parts of the country.
How to reach Shani Shingnapur from Shirdi
From Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur can be reached via Rahuri or Sonai. Once you alight at Rahuri, you can take a bus/shuttle service to reach Shani Shingnapur. There are also state transport buses and taxis available to reach this village from Shirdi. It is 70 km away and will take you about one-and-a-half hours. The village does not have many accommodation options so it is best to stay in Shirdi and visit Shani Shingnapur during the day.