400-year-old tradition ends! Women enter Shani Shingnapur inner sanctum, pray

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Mumbai, Apr 8: In what could be termed as a historic move, the Shani Shingnapur Temple Trust on Friday said it will permit women to enter and pray at the open-to-sky platform shrine.

This is a massive victory for the women's rights activists fighting for entry into the famous Hindu temple's sanctum in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. The decision was taken at a meeting of the trust and announced by trustee Shalini Lande.

Shani Shingnapur allows entry for women

For over four centuries, women have been barred from stepping onto the high platform on which stands a black stone - symbolising Shanidev.

Later in the day, Bhumata Brigade-led by Trupti Desai entered the inner sanctum of the temple, offered their prayers, thereby bringing an end to 400-year-old tradition.

The decision was welcomed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Bhumata Ranragini Brigade president Trupti Desai, who had been campaigning for months seeking women's entry.

"It's a great victory for Bhumata Brigade and women power," activist Trupti Desai told media.

"We will definitely go and offer prayers at temple's sanctum today," Desai added.

Meanwhile, talking to media persons Maharashtra CM said, "There is no discrimination in religion, either on caste or on gender."

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