Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Rare & Unique Idol Of Lord Shani - Sri Shanichara Temple - Aiti, Morena

In this post of our heritage exploration series we bring to you the ancient Shanichara temple located at Shani Parvat, Village Ainti, District Morena, Madhya Pradesh, India. This temple is believed to be the oldest Shani temple in the world dating back to the Treta Yug (one of the early ages of mankind as per the Hindu belief). Also the idol of Lord Shani here is believed to have been made out of a meteoroid that fell from the sky during ancient times! The Hindus consider Shani or Saturn in great awe and respect. In fact, Saturn is the only deity whose benign glance is believed to bestow prosperity, while a fierce look can cause unparalleled misfortune on the object of its attention. Thus devotees flock to appease the God every Saturday.

Lord Shani
Lord Shani
The Shanichara Temple made of stone at Aeti is rather special, though it doesn’t appear so from the outside. It houses the original black idol of Shani brought from Lanka (presently Sri Lanka). Legend has it that Shanideva was held prisoner by the demon-king Ravana (king of Lanka), in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The dusty village of Aeti came into being only after the temple was established. Earlier it was just a barren hilltop dotted with a few trees.

A grand puja (prayer) is held here every Amavasya Shanivar (moonless Saturday night), which has devotees thronging to the temple in droves. Special narrow gauge trains operate from Gwalior, Agra, Jaipur, Baroda and some other cities to bring devotees to the temple. At this Shani temple it is believed that if you shave your head, and give your hair you are throwing off bad vibrations and bad karma. That is why people give hair here. They also throw their old clothes, as a symbol of casting off old prejudices and bad tendencies and starting a new chapter in life.

It is believed that parikrama of 'Shani Parvat', a mountain of 14 km perimeter, relieved people from Shanidev's curse. People normally dreaded of Shanidev's curse as it affects them for two-and-a-half or seven years. It brings misery and misfortunes but if Shanidev or Saturn planet is happy then it fetches fortunes. Water arrangement has been made for devotees for bathing purpose through fountains outside the shrine premises. Oil, which is offered to Shanidev, would be allowed in plastic packets rather in bottles and would be offered through a long pipe which ends over deity. The pipe would be laid from main gate of temple to the sanctum sanctorum.

Lord Shani
Lord Shani

Temple Location:

The Shanichara Temple is about 37 kilo meters from Morena en route to Banmore (NH3) Aiti Village. The Shanichara Temple is about 18 kilo meters from Gwalior en route to Padhavali, Bateshwar and Mitaoli. Bus services are rare – make enquiries at the Morena bus station. Hiring a cab is a better idea. Roads are moderately good up to a point, after which it is just a dry track to the temple.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Shanichara Temple,
Aiti,
Morena,
Pin Code : 476 444,
Madhya Pradesh.

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