I saw – There are MSRTC buses for Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain, Ratlam, Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Bangalore, Hubli, Bharuch, Surat, Ankaleshwar, Palanpur, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Bhusawal, Aurangabad, Palghar, Dahanu, Saptshringi Gad, Mumbai (Dadar), Thane, Mumbai Central, Nashik, Satara, Sangamner, Pune, Kolhapur, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Shanishingnapur.
That’s interesting, isn’t it?
I was told – Shirdi to Shani Shingnapur bus is at 10:15 am from platform No. 1 and the fare is Rs. 135 (if I remember correctly).
Anyway, I decided to enquire also from private vehicle owners about Shirdi to Shani Shingnapur to-and-fro fare and timing.
I was told there are numerous vehicles for Shani Shingnapur since morning from Shirdi and the fare to-and-fro – Rs. 150 only.
Because private vehicle was starting nearby temple-area, I decided to visit Shani Shingnapur one way by private vehicle and return by MSRTC bus.
Next day at 8:30 am I was near Gate No. 2, Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Temple.
Force Traveller Passenger Carrier was parked. I enquired about the seat availability?
Yes, available – He said.
I conveyed the driver that I do not want to-and-fro ticket. I only want one-way journey – fare?
Rs. 100 – The reply.
Ok – said I.
Seat was available. I enter the vehicle and grab the seat near the door. It was a 19 seater Force Traveller Passenger Carrier.
At 8:45 am the van was almost full and started its journey but I was surprised when it reached Shirdi Bus Depot and took a U-turn. We again reached nearby Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Temple to take few more passengers.
Finally, at 9:15 am the journey was re-started from Shirdi to Shani Shingnapur.
As the highway work is going-on, we passed via villages. It was a rural journey in-short.
What I liked most – devotional songs played by the driver during entire journey such as – Deewana Tera Aaya Baba Teri Shirdi Mein (?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???), ek fakira aaya shirdi gaon mein and many more.. Thoroughly enjoyed.
At 11:15 am van stopped at Umbre Village for Sugarcane Juice.
Raja – 8 years bull and its masters busy churning sugarcane juice.
I had two glasses of sugarcane juice – Rs. 20 per glass.
Not only sugarcane, there was jaggery (???? ) – 1 kg for Rs. 60 for sale and Shakkar -1 kg for Rs. 100.
Anyway, after 15 minutes of halt the van re-started its journey.
At 12 noon reached Shani Shingnapur.
The van was parked in-front of Santosh Nariyal Centre almost opposite Shani Shingnapur temple-area.
The purpose of parking van at this location was clear. One may purchase puja items needed for the pooja of God Shani. Purchased. Rs. 200 paid (you have to bargain) excluding mustard oil. I will suggest: buy mustard oil from temple-area. Its for Rs. 40 if I remember correctly.
I stayed almost one hour or so at Shani Shingnapur temple and then in-search for MSRTC bus for Shirdi.
Upon query, I was told – bus will come at Shani Shingnapur bus depot (opposite and nearby Shani Shingnapur temple).
I waited for one hour but no bus. One person said: Bus goes further towards village and will return.
I waited till 1:45 pm and finally walk in-search of bus or van for Shirdi.
I found again – Force Traveller Van and the fare – Rs. 100 because its one-way journey.
The van started journey at 2:00 pm from Shani Shingnapur.
For 10 minutes it stopped during the journey at a sugarcane shop and I purchased 1 kg jaggery for Rs. 70.
And reached Shirdi at 4:00 pm. Two hours journey, lesser than morning journey time and the route if I am correct was different from morning. Anyway, I enjoyed both to-and-fro journey but yes, I missed experiencing travelling via MSRTC bus. Maybe someday. The journey continues..