10 Incredible Shani Temples in India•
Posted on May 19 2022
Lord Shani is represented the God associated with disciplined behaviour, hard work and karma. The God is also called Raviputra or Chayaputra as Hindu mythology refers to him as the son of the Sun God and Chaya Devi. Moreover, Shani Dev is one of the Navagrahas or nine heavenly bodies in Hindu astrology.
Hindu scriptures visualise Lord Shani as a dark-complexioned deity with four arms having a bow, an arrow, a trident and an axe. He uses a crow as His mount. Some texts present Him driving a chariot and the crow following Him wherever He goes.
There are various shrines across the country that are dedicated to this God.
1) Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra
This temple is the biggest shrine dedicated to the lord in the country and is located in Nevasa Taluka. It is best noted for the fact that the temple has no roof or walls. The lord is represented as a black stone that is five feet tall and placed on a platform called Sonai. It is believed that the villagers found a black slab floating in the river and blood oozing from it. The lord appeared before the village head in a dream and told him that the slab was His own representation. He instructed the chieftain to keep the slab in the middle of the village.
2) Shani Dham Temple, New Delhi
This shrine in the capital city houses the idol of Shani Dev created from natural rock. The 21-foot tall idol is the tallest statue of the lord in the world. Worshippers are of the belief that praying to the deity in this temple will help them overcome any hurdle or obstacle in their path. It is also said that a person who suffers from ailments gets cured of them when he/she enters the premises of the shrine with utmost faith.
3) Shaneeswara Bhagavan Temple, Tamil Nadu
This temple in Tirunallar is also considered to be one of the major Navagraha temples in India. The lord’s followers believe that by offering their prayers to the God here, the impact of Shani dosha on them as well as bad luck and misfortunes are alleviated while the positive effects of Saturn in their horoscopes get increased. It is said that Shani Dev lost His powers to Lord Shiva in the temple premises. Devotees believe that taking a dip in the Nalan Theertam holy tank helps them get rid of misfortunes and afflictions because of past karmas.
4) Shanichara, Madhya Pradesh
This shrine is considered to be one of the oldest temples dedicated to the lord in the country. It is believed that the Shani idol here was formed from a meteoroid that fell before a long time at the exact spot where the idol is now currently placed. The idol is on a hill top and it is said that Lord Hanuman placed it in this position so that Shani Dev could position His vision on to Lanka and burn it to ashes. The temple is thronged by devotees to get rid of the bad effects inflicted on them.
5) Bannanje Sri Shani Kshetra, Karnataka
This temple houses a very tall monolith statue of Lord Shan placed on a two-step pedestal so that it is visible to everyone. The shrine is just a couple of kilometres away from the well-known Sri Krishna temple in Udupi district. The tailabhisheka is the major offering to the lord here. Devotees come here to get the God’s blessings to help them overcome challenges and win over obstacles.
6) Yerdanur Shani Temple, Telangana
This shrine located in Medak District houses a 20-foot tall idol of Lord Shani carved from black monolithic stone over a two-feet high basement. The idol alone weighs about 9 tonnes. The temple is frequented by worshippers in large numbers to seek relief from the evil effects of Shani in their horoscopes. One of the most common rituals observed here is to light lamps with mustard or sesame oil.
7) Shani Devalaya, Maharashtra
This temple in Deonar, Mumbai is very popular among the lord’s devotees and often referred to as the Temple of Saneshwara. Devotees visit this shrine to find solutions for resolving their problems related to dark enchantment and eviction. They believe that with sincere prayers, the lord helps them lead a life free of hurdles.
8) Shaneeswara Kshetram, Kerala
This shrine is located in Kottayam district. It is different from other Shani deities with respect to the fact that the Shani Dev idol in this premise is portrayed as a blessing God. The God in this temple is believed to lend a helping hand to those who approach Him with their problems.
9) Shani Mahatma Temple, Karnataka
This temple in Chikka Madhure district is believed to have been constructed by a local farmer of this region. The temple is flooded with devotees on Saturdays, especially during the Hindu Shravan month who believe that worshipping the lord here or offering Him special poojas helps them experience reduced or can be completely freed of the negative effects of Panchama or Ashtama Shani. Worshippers drop black sesame seeds tied in a small piece of black cloth dipped in sesame oil in the fireplace right before the temple.
10) Shani Temple, Madhya Pradesh
This shrine in Indore is different from most other Shani temples because He wears sindhoor as shringar. Moreover, unlike in other places where He is shown dressed in black, the idol here is dressed in colourful attire and adorns a crown and ornaments. Abhishek to the swayambhu idol is done with milk and water instead of the traditional sesame oil. Devotees receive solace from Shani related problems with sincere prayers to the God.
Devotees visit Shani temples especially on Saturdays to seek His blessings for justice and remove personal obstacles or evil from their lives. They also feed crows and worship Pipal trees as they are considered to be the abode of the lord. Worshippers do not make eye contact with the God by looking at Him directly or standing in front Him or when they visit His shrines. This is because it is believed that Shani has been cursed by His wife that whomever He casts His eyes on will get hurt.