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An Indian village with no front doors, shops that are always unlocked, and residents who are never feeling unsafe. Anyone can walk into your home or shop in this village there are no doors and no locks. But no one will steal. If someone does, they will suffer from ‘sade-sati’, a period of seven years of bad luck.
This is the story of Shani Shingnapur, a village in India’s Maharashtra state. Where villagers avoid their security because of their undying faith in Lord Shani, the god of Saturn, who is considered the guardian of the village.
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Story Behind The Doorless Indian Village
According to legend, a heavy black slab of rock washed up on the shores of the Panasnala River. Which once flowed through the village, about 300 years ago after a bout of rain and flooding. When a local shepherd touched the 1.5m boulder with a stick, blood started oozing out of it. Lord Shani appeared in the shepherd’s dreams later that night, telling him that the stone was his idol. The shepherd asked the Lord for permission to build a temple for him, but he refused. He wanted to be placed in the heart of the village without shelter, so he could look over around freely. He promised the shepherd that he will protect the village from any dangers and mishaps.
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Faith In The God
Since this day, the village has placed all its faith in god. The villagers installed the huge slab on a roofless platform in the heart of town, they decided to discard all doors and locks. They didn’t need them anymore, not with the Lord to watch over them. This remote Indian village, Shani Shingnapur attracts devotees from across India. At least 40,000 visitors pour in each day to see the once-humble shrine that has grown into a large temple with extensive property and donations.
Now It Is A 300 Year Old Tradition
This tradition has continued for generations. Locals sometimes lean wooden panels against their front door frames to keep stray dogs out, but they don’t have permanent doors. Villagers leave their jewellery and money unsecured, firmly believing that their holy guardian will protect them from any mishap. Local lore says that a man who built a door outside his home had an accident the next day. Even the public toilets in the village square just have a thin curtain at the entrance for privacy.
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lockless Goverment Office In Shani Shingnapur
Even post offices and police stations do not have doors here. The United Commercial Bank opened its first “lockless” branch in Shani Shingnapur in 2011. It has a glass entrance and a remote-controlled electromagnetic lock that is barely visible to respect the sentiments of the villagers.
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Belief VS Superstition
Although Shani Shingnapur has officially remained free from thefts for centuries. However, many villagers now strongly feel that it is time to get rid of the superstition. Until 2010, Shingnapur had not reported any cases of theft. However the next year, gold ornaments worth Rs70,000 went missing from the home of a temple trustee. The no-door policy has become such an important belief for the village and its economy, that many cases even go unreported. Many peoples argue that the low crime rate in the area is due to the village’s remote location rather than the miraculous powers of the lord.
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