No crime here: The Indian village with no front doors or locks

A small Indian village contains no front doors or locks as residents believe they are protected by the Hindu deity Shani

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The Independent Online

If you are someone constantly forgetting or misplacing their house keys, then the Indian village of Shani Shingnapur could be an ideal location.

The village, located in the Ahmednagar District in the state of Maharashtra, has no front doors and hardly any locks due to residents there believing they are protected from any robbery by the Hindu deity Shani.

It is believed that Shani is so strong that he will not let thieves in the village of open homes go unpunished.

"The power of Shani is such that if someone steals, he will keep walking all night and think he has left the village, but when the sun comes up he will still be there," mill worker Balasaheb Borude told AFP.

Take Jayashree Gade, a housewife in Shani Shingnapur, who showed the AFP a pile of rupees her family keeps in an unlocked barrel in their bedroom, even though the house has no front door.

"Years ago, Shani came in the dreams of devotees and told them you don't need to put any doors on your homes. He said: 'I will protect you'. That's why we don't have any doors," Gade explained.

Even the local bank branch abides by the village's rules. Yes, it does actually have a door, but it is never locked and is only there to stop stray dogs entering rather than thieves.

Shani Shingnapur has become a tourist hot spot in Maharashtra after the village of 5,000 people appeared in a Hindi film in the 1990s.

"The whole world got to know that there is a place called Shani Shingnapur, where houses have no doors, there are trees but no shadows, there are gods but no temples," said Sayaram Bankar, a trustee at the shrine of Shani.

Shani Shingnapur's fame has been hit by stories of thefts in recent years as tourists flock to the village. In 2010, a visitor from north India said cash and valuables worth 35,000 rupees (£366) were stolen from a vehicle. Trustee Bankar said such reports only happened outside of the village.

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