Ahmednagar/Maharashtra: Defying the old-age tradition, for the first time in the history a woman will be heading the Maharashtra's Shani Shingnapur Temple Trust.
Anita Shetye , a housewife, was unanimously appointed the first ever woman chairperson of the temple trust.
However, the tradition of not allowing women devotees to worship at the temple dedicated to Lord Shani - the personification of planet Saturn - will continue, temple trustee Prafull N Surpuriya said.
"This is the first time in the temple's history of more than five centuries that this welcome development has taken place. Another woman, Shalini Lande , has also been appointed to the board of 11 trustees managing the temple, at its statutory meeting last week," said Surpuriya.
Shetye, 40, will have a five-year term along with other 11 trustees. As mandated, all the trustees are residents of Shingnapur village in Ahmednagar district and born within the Shingnapur gram panchayat area, which has a population of around 1,500.
The unique open temple has no walls or a roof. A self-emerged (svayambhu) five-foot tall black stone stands on a platform and is worshipped as Shanidev. The temple platform stands in the centre of the small village, also known as Sonai.