Shirdi is a popular pilgrimage town with a vast temple complex dedicated to one of India's most revered saints, Sai Baba. It's located about 250 kilometers (143 miles) northeast of Mumbai, and 90 kilometers (56 miles) southeast of Nashik, in Maharashtra. Find out the best ways to get from Mumbai to Shirdi in this guide.
An airport was constructed at Kakadi village about 30 minutes southwest of Shirdi, as part of a project to commemorate the 100th death anniversary of Sai Baba in October 2018. It was inaugurated on October 1, 2017. Extension of the runway and construction of a new terminal building have been approved, with works expected to be completed by the end of 2020. This will increase the airport's capacity.
Currently, Alliance Air (a subsidiary of Air India) and low-cost carrier SpiceJet service the airport. Alliance Air operates daily Shirdi flights from Mumbai and Hyderabad. SpiceJet flies from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur.
Alternatively, the second closest airport to Shirdi is at Aurangabad, about two hours away.
There are three options for taking the train from Mumbai to Shirdi. All run overnight but two are much faster than the other one, and the arrival time in the very early hours of the morning is useful if you're a devotee who wants go straight to the line for the early morning aarti.
The 12131 Dadar Shirdi Sainagar Express is a "superfast" service that runs three times a week and has six stops. The train departs from Dadar in central Mumbai at 9.45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. It arrives in Sainagar Shirdi Railways Station (SNSI) at 3.45 a.m. the following morning, via Nashik and Manmad. The fare is 245 rupees in Sleeper Class, 630 rupees in 3AC, and 880 rupees in 2AC. Cleanliness and punctuality are excellent, and ticket availability is good. See train information.
The 12147 Dadar Shirdi Sainagar Express is a new "superfast" service that runs on Fridays and has six stops. It started operating in early August 2017. The train departs from Dadar in central Mumbai at 9.45 p.m. and arrives in Sainagar Shirdi Railways Station (SNSI) at 3.45 a.m. the following morning, also via Nashik and Manmad. The fare is 245 rupees in Sleeper Class, 630 rupees in 3AC, and 880 rupees in 2AC. Cleanliness is excellent, and punctuality and ticket availability are good. See train information.
The other option is the substantially slower 51033 Mumbai CST Shirdi Fast Passenger with 25 stops. This train departs daily at 10.55 p.m. from Mumbai CST. It arrives the next morning at 10.55 a.m., via Pune and Daund. The fare is 170 rupees in Sleeper Class and 725 rupees in 3AC. The train doesn't have 2AC. Cleanliness and punctuality are average, but ticket availability is good. See train information.
If you're unable to get tickets on a train to Sainagar railway station in Shirdi, the next closest station is Kopargaon (KPG), about 15 kilometers away.
Buses from Mumbai to Shirdi are much more frequent, and are a popular option. By bus, it takes six to eight hours to complete the trip. Buses leave Mumbai almost every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. until midnight. The fare ranges from about 250 rupees for non air-conditioned seated, up to 1,000 rupees for an air-conditioned Volvo sleeper. Book through Red Bus or Make My Trip (which has acquired Ticketvala). There are various pick-up points in Mumbai depending on the service and route. Some start in Dadar, while others ply the suburbs.
In regards to the best bus companies, Neeta Travels is well-known and has decent buses and drivers. This company operates about 12 services a day from Mumbai to Shirdi.
It's possible to hire a private vehicle to go to Shirdi, and you can leave from Mumbai airport if you wish. The travel time, one way, is four to five hours. It will cost about 6,500 rupees upwards for a return trip. Have a look at Ecabs and Savaari. However, there are a multitude of other service providers. App-based Uber and Ola offer intercity and outstation travel now too.
Read more about how to visit Shirdi and Sai Baba in this Shirdi Travel Guide.