Shanichara Temple, Morena

The charming affair for exploring offbeat and marvellous hidden spots continues non-stop with Gwalior and nearby Chambal Ravines. I had a day in hand and thankfully got a car to drive, so Chambal Ravines were again the natural choice for exploring some more unexplored spots. What else this Vagabond would have thought of when Life gave him a spare day and a vehicle to drive.

It took me around one hour from Gwalior to locate, ask locales about the way and finally reach Shanichara Temple, situated deep inside remote corners of Chambal Ravines. Dedicated to Shani Dev, such a Grand Temple at such a remote location arouses curiosity to know about the history of the place as much as quest to explore another hidden spot.

Instant vow on reaching the temple entrance (at Aiti Village, Morena district). After seeking blessings of Shanidev and offering prayers, approached the temple priest to know more about the place, legends associated with the temple.

This is what I came to know about this ancient temple:

1.    Timeline of this temple goes back to the times of Ramayana, Treta Yug. This makes it one of the Oldest Shani Temple in the world.

2.   When Hanumanji was all set to torch Lanka but realised that Shanidev who was held captive by demon Ravana had to be set free to flame Lanka. Hanumanji took no time in rescuing Shanidev out of the captivity and asked him to leave Lanka and go away as far as possible. However due to long captivity Shanidev had grown too weak to even walk quickly and thus requested Hanumanji to throw him out of Lanka towards Bharat Bhumi (India) with his all strength and proceed with torching Lanka.

3.  Shanichara Temple is the place where Shanidev had landed when thrown by Hanumanji, all the way from Lanka. No coincidence that this hilly area is called as Shani Parvat. After returning from Lanka, Hanumanji came to see Shanidev at this place and a temple was built by Hanumanji to worship Shanidev.

Idol of Shani Dev at the temple is believed to be very ancient and carved out of meteorite fallen on earth. Temple is believed to be much older than Shani temple at Shani Signapur in Maharashtra.

Every Saturday, a large number of devotees visit this temple, and a grand prayer is held on every Amavasya Shanivar (Saturday). On every Shani Jayanti, lakhs of people come here from all the corners of India and Shani Dev fulfils all the wishes of everyone coming here. Shanichara Temple has a dedicated station and special trains ply every Saturday to bring devotees to this sacred place.

Got so much excited that we have missed out appreciating the grand entrance gate of the temple premises:

Temple was subsequently built/ refurbished over the time, earlier by great King Vikramaditya and in recent past by Daulat Rao Scindia in 1808. Difficult to express how we were feeling while walking around the premises and thinking about the amazing part of history we were going through. Such places are symbolic of our past and needs to be visited to ensure next generation is kept aware about our rich legacy.

Hanumanji was the main force behind the origination of history of this temple, a small but beautiful Glass temple, dedicated to Hanumanji is another attraction here.
While walking around in the temple premises we came across “Gupt Ganga”. Stream of water coming out from the following tap is referred to as Gupt Ganga, as origin of this underground stream is not known. 
Taking bath in the sacred water is considered as auspicious as of river Ganga. The water from Gupt Ganga is rather sweet, cold and very relaxing. Initially thought that we will just take a sip but drank till my stomach had to plead STOP.
Temple is quite spacious and kids will have a gala time here. Temple has an open air amphitheatre for holding events as well. 

The green lands at the backside of the temple provided perfect icing on the trip. Vow again, do I need to travel thousands of kilometres. No, just look around you are in India, there is no shortfall of such beautiful places.

Offbeat locations are at times more beautiful than regular ones. Or being situated away from the crowds have preserved the natural beauty of the place. It is believed that Shani Dev is still at this place in his immortal avatar and fulfils all the wishes of the devotees.

Pujariji (Temple Priest) advised us to also visit Hanumanji temple located at some distance towards Aiti Village, wherein Hanumanji is lying on the ground and watching the skies. There was no chance we could have missed this beautiful temple despite no directions:

Situated within the woods, walking around the temple premises is another activity to conenct with yor inner self. After spending around 10-15 minutes walking here and there, it was the time to offer prayers. Hanumanji is resting and to ensure no-disturbance a few monkeys are keeping a vigil:

It is believed that the statue of Hanumanji had appeared from the ground and since then being worshipped like this only. There is an adjacent small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Ardh-Narishwar avatar (अर्धनारीश्वर)।

Refreshed, recharged and filled with some great information about our rich history. The place was desolated with hardly a few inhabitants nearby, but even for a moment we did not felt uncomfortable, do you need more reasons to keep on travelling. Around the temples there are ample avenues of trekking in the rocky terrain of this area, so checking your fitness may be another reason to keep on travelling. 

Will advise to visit the place with good trekking shoes as lose rocks tend to slip 
at times, can hurt and are difficult manoeuvre with regular shoes to avoid any interruptions in the Good Times. 

For information - Batesara group of temples is just 8 km. from this Shanichara Temple. Be a traveller and keep exploring Folks. 

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.


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  1. इतिहास की इस अद्भुत जानकारी के लिए आपका प्रयास प्रशंसनीय है।

  2. Really Very much Heart Touching information feeling refreshed n lively.Definitely we will make plan to Visit Such an Auspicious n Authentic place.why we have missed so far.

    1. Thank you for dropping by. The place is like definitely worth an experience.

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