Could you possibly imagine keeping your doors open day and night for a few days? Absolutely not, right? Well, then be amazed to know that there is indeed one such place in our nation, with doors of shops and houses wide open for the past 600 years.
This is the No door-pane village, a place exquisitely known for its unique quality. This village lies in the midst of Maharashtrian villages, I came to this place during one of my journeys in search of raw and pure culture. As I boarded my bus from Ahmednagar to Shingnapur, I did not imagine that 95% of the 4000 houses there would have no door panes.
People in the village believe that their god, the Moorthy Shanidev, would protect them from all dangers, and burglars would not dare due to fear of god’s punishment. Even the new generation contemporary houses lacked doors.
The streets of Shingnapur were narrowly built and crowded ones. The main attraction of the place was indeed the Shani Temple. As it was a Saturday, the prime ritual of the day was going on. Youngsters flocked to pray for their perfect brides and several young women lined up to carry out the ritual. The place was occupied by pilgrims who were eagerly waiting to be blessed by the look of the main deity there, Swayambhu.
I took a ride for a 100 rupee fee. I could not find a single building with a door panel. The main sites of the place were merely a school, bank, and a post office, which portrayed quite how simply the place really was. While every single bank across the globe is highly safeguarded, what surprised me the most was that the United Commercial Bank there had not even a door panel.
This was especially due to the government’s order as the place had a zero crime rate. In the history of Shingnapur, only 3 crimes have been reported. After a hearty lunch at a hotel and taking a peek at the money box kept at the counter, the owner simply smiled and said that the boxes too were kept wide open as there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
The villagers were peaceful, calm, and very friendly. Recently the place had been in the news regarding a controversy on women’s entry in the temples there. The famous and most visited pilgrimage, Shirdi, is situated around 65kms from here.
The elegant sugarcane fields, women in their traditional attires, tasty and heart-warming lunch, and a whole lot of myths make this place a truly memorable abode. With a final view of the sun setting peacefully, bathing in a serene pool of red, crossing over the horizons, I bade farewell to this mesmerizing place.