Mumbai to Shirdi by BharatBenz Bus (A/C 26 Seater – 2+1)

Neeta Tours And Travels (Bharat Benz Bus AC Seater - 2+2) - Mumbai to Shirdi (Maharashtra)

Online Darshan Pass/Booking was completed for Shri SaiBaba temple, Shirdi, and also for Shri Shaneshwar Devasthan, Shanishingnapur.

Now the question:

How to reach Shirdi from Mumbai? Travel Options?

I thought of booking a night train from Mumbai to Sainagar, Shirdi via www.irctc.co.in but the message displayed after login and search were: In the wake of COVID 19 and as a measure of abundant caution, booking has been suspended on this route for all trains until further advice.

Next option?

Mumbai to Shirdi via Bus

www.redbus.in (India’s largest online bus ticketing platform) is one of the best options to book bus tickets.

I searched Mumbai to Shirdi and the results displayed MSRTC buses, Neeta tours and travels BharatBenz bus (A/C Seater – 2+2), Dolphin travel house bus (A/C Sleeper – 2+2), and many more having ticket prices somewhere between INR 300 – INR 1010 depending upon Seater, Sleeper, Safety, Amenities, Boarding, and Dropping Points, Reviews, etc.

Departure timings start from 5:30 in the morning till 11 in the night.

I thought of booking the morning MSRTC SHIVSHAHI bus because the boarding point was near to home and I also wanted to experience travel via the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus.

Done.

Received E-Reservation Ticket via Email from redbus.

Total Chargeable Amount including GST – Rs. 565 only.

Approx. Boarding Point – Andheri Char Bungalow (Time: 06:15 Hrs.) and Dropping Point – Shirdi at 13:30

Total journey hours: 07h 15m.

There was also an MSRTC SHIVSHAHI bus taking much lesser time – 5h 10m – boarding point Mumbai Central for INR 355/.

But I was happy because the booked MSRTC SHIVSHAHI bus boarding point was near to the house and I was about to experience travel via Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus.

Then a question arises:

Boarding Point mentioned is – Andheri Char Bungalow – where exactly in Char Bungalow?

I dialed the Toll-Free Helpline number for clarity but was disappointed because the person present at the helpline number was not aware of the exact boarding point in Char Bungalow, Andheri West.

Now, what next?

I tried a few more contacts mentioned on the MSRTC website. I was told – Boarding Point is near Char Bungalow Post Office.

As per knowledge (if I am correct), there is no post office in Char Bungalow, Andheri (West).

What to do?

I canceled the ticket with disappointment. I was not happy. The joy to travel via Government bus – failed.

I received an Email from redbus mentioning a refund of Rs. 416.50 (will be credited in account in 5-7 bank working days).

Next, the only available is Neeta Tours And Travels (Bharat Benz Bus A/C Seater – 2+2).

Booked ticket for Rs. 550.

I received an eTicket via Email from redbus mentioning tour details as follows:

Boarding Point: Andheri (E) Neeta Travels, *Western Tower Building, Next To Bisleri Compound.

*not too far from home

Departure Time: 7:00 am, Dropping Point: Neeta Annex Hotel, Shirdi at 02:45 pm.

Total journey hours: 07h 45m.

NOTE: This operator accepts mTicket, you need not carry a printout. Insure your travel (Loss of baggage Upto Rs. 3,000 insurance cover & Personal accident Rs. 6,00,000 insurance cover) by adding Rs 15 per passenger – Powered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Done. Received Email / SMS from redbus and Email from ICICI Lombard.

Finally, on the journey date at 6:45 am I was present next to Bisleri Compound, Western Express Highway, Andheri – East, Mumbai.

At 7:05 am bus arrived.

The bus conductor verified the name from his list. Hand Sanitisers were sprinkled on both hands at the entrance of the bus door.

I enter the bus and was amazed because it was 26 Seater – 2+1 BharatBenz Bus.

I had a window seat (I selected online) not too far from the door. After 5 minutes bus started on its journey to Shirdi.

The seat/bus was comfortable & clean, air-conditioned – working though mobile charger point was not near the seat. It was near the driver. There was no entertainment on a long journey such as melodious music. Little boring – I have to say.

Anyway, at 8:00 am we reached Mulund.

At 9:20 am the bus stopped at Hotel Paramount (Pure Jain food) at Shahpur. The halt was for 20 minutes. I had tea for Rs. 25/. The best was the clean toilet of Hotel Paramount – a rarity.

At 10:50 am we reached Igatpuri. Before Igatpuri the drive was too picturesque as we pass through Kasara Ghat. I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially because I was having a window seat.

11:45 am at Mumbai Naka, Nashik.

Note: The shorter route from Mumbai to Shirdi is via GHOTI (after Igatpuri). There is an MSRTC bus from Parel that reaches Shirdi via Ghoti. But how much time it takes – no idea.

1:05 pm the bus again had a halt for 20 minutes at Hotel Sai Virbhadra at Pangri village (approx. 40 km before Shirdi). I visited the bathroom which was very clean.

I had Kesar-Pista and Chocolate ice cream – both for Rs. 20 each. It was delicious and the price was also cheap though the company – cups n cones was never heard. In short, unknown brands can be excellent too.

Anyway, the bus re-started the journey and at 2:30 pm (15 minutes before time) reached Shirdi (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra).

In-totality: The journey from Mumbai to Shirdi by BharatBenz Bus (A/C Seater – 2+1) was good if not, excellent (no music). The two stoppages at nice & clean hotels – appreciated. Road condition especially at Kasara Ghat is fantastic.