Indian Village With No Doors

Inhabitants believe that their village has been sanctified by the revered Saturn-god, prompting them to leave their doors and windows open without any qualms of thievery.


35-kilometre from Ahmednagar, a city in Maharashtra which is about 120 kilometres from Pune, lies a quaint village, Shani Shingnapur (or just Shingnapur) in the Nevasa taluka (an administrative sub-division resembling a township) of Ahmednagar district, where one will find houses with no doors. The resident locals maintain that they have enough faith in their fellow inhabitants — being sanctified with the vigilance of the revered god of Saturn, who represents justice and morality — to leave their doors and windows open without any qualms of thievery. Almost miraculously, no theft had been reported in the village — not at least till 2010, and there was one incidence of stealing in 2011, both of which were summarily dismissed, being cited that both those incidents had taken place just outside the village.


How Did This Faith Take Root?


According to the circulating folklore, about 300 years ago there was a bout of unnatural rain and flooding. When the calamity subsided, an imposing black boulder was found to surface on the shores of the Panasnala River, which once upon a time had flowed through the village. When the curious villages prodded the 1.5 m slab of rock with a stick, apparently blood started rushing out of it.


Later that night, the village head experienced the Saturn-god to appear in his dream to reveal to him that the rock was an iteration of herself and that he was to keep the same in the village and thus would be a resident himself in this village forever. Furthermore, the instructions came with the rider that the idol and its omnipotent power should not be sheltered within any constructed space so that the deity would be privy to supervise the entire village without obstruction. Having so said, he then blessed the village head and promised to guard the village from all dangers.


So after the village head installed the stone representation of the Saturn-god out in the open, the villagers did away with all the doors and the windows, in keeping with the directive. From then on all the villagers wholeheartedly believe that they have the Saturn-god to look after them.


Has That Tradition Continued?


Except for placing wooden panels against the front door-frames, to keep away the stray dogs, there are no permanent doors in any of the houses, living the jewellery and the money unsecured. The public toilets of the village square are veiled by a thin curtain at the entrance for token privacy.


Even a well-known bank set up in 2011 and the police station, which came up only in 2015, both maintain the status quo.