One of India’s best known shani temples, and perhaps the only one in Delhi, is the Shanidham temple located on the Chattarpur Road, very close to the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, 6kms from the Chhattarpur temple & 16kms from the Qutub Minar. The temple is famous for having the tallest statue of Lord Shani existing anywhere in the world.
The temple is usually rather quiet on weekdays but comes to life every Saturday – Saturday being the day of lord shani – with people thronging the temple performing aartis and offering prayers all through the day to please the lord. The temple is also very popular on the religious tourism sector with devotees from out-of-town making it a point to visit the temple whenever they are in Delhi. One of the main attractions, of course, remains the massive statue of Lord Shani.
Shani is one of the nine Navagraha or primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology, embodied in the planet Saturn. Shani is the Lord of Saturday; the word Shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages. According to Hindu mythology Shani is actually a demi-god and is a son of Surya, the sun god. It is said that when he opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts i.e. a person’s horoscope.
It is the general belief that when shani enters one’s horoscope, bad luck will fall upon that person and he will be surrounded with problems. To avoid this and to please the shani god people offer prayers in the shani temples, especially on Saturdays, which are dedicated to the dark and dangerous Lord. Black is the color associated with shani, so devotees wear black clothes, donate black pulses and perform a series of rituals to keep the short-tempered God happy.
So in case life has not been treating you well of late it might be the shani god that’s responsible so, come Saturday, head out to the Shani Dham temple and offer some prayers.