Shirdi is one of the most visited spiritual destinations in India. Pune on the other hand, is the second largest city of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. Both these cities are located in the same state and are only 185 km away from each other. Hence, the Pune to Shirdi route is one of the busiest routes as tourists and devotees travel to and fro both these destinations regularly. Pune and Shirdi are well-connected through road and railways and there are fantastic places of interests and attractions along the way for travelers to stop or take a slight detour.
How to reach Shirdi from Pune
It takes about 5 hours to travel from Pune to Shirdi by road. One can drive or rent a private vehicle. Either way, the trip is pleasurable and leisurely with several fuel and dining options along the route. Besides, the roads are well-maintained making the drive smooth and enjoyable.
Also, buses ply from Pune to Shirdi and back. You can book the tickets either online or at the bus counters.
Pune to Shirdi Routes
There are primarily two routes that connect Pune and Shirdi. Let us find out a little more about them.
NH 60 Route
This is the most preferred and straight forward route. From Pune travelers can take National Highway 60 where it takes around 4.5 hours to complete the distance. Since it the national highway, the roads are excellent, speed limits are more and travel time is lesser when compared to other routes.
Some of the popular destinations that one crosses on this route include the cities of Vadgaon and Kurali. Also, taking a few detours and following the maps strictly, travelers can also explore a few other attractions before reaching Shirdi or Pune. The Bird Valley Udhyan in Chinchwad, Sir Venkateshwara Balaji Mandir in Narayanpur and Chandanapuri Ghat Forest in Gunjalwadi are some beautiful places of interests that visitors can pay a visit enroute.
Ahmednagar Highway and NH 160
This is a slightly longer route and covers around 210 km, taking almost 5 hours to reach. The cities that one crosses along this route include Ahmednagar, Wagholi, Ramnagar, Kamargaon, Nepti, Vilad and Sakori. Besides, the tourist attractions to explore along this route are the Ahmednagar Fort in Ahmednagar, Futala Lake in Nagpur and Bhima Koregaon Vijaystambha in Perne Phata.
The best way to decide on the route depends on the time duration and traffic conditions that you may encounter.
Best time to travel
Shirdi is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. And hence travel routes from Pune to Shirdi are busy throughout the year. However, if you are considering the best time to travel then October to February are perhaps the ideal months, since the climate is pleasant. Also, October and November is the peak festival season and Shirdi is abuzz in a spiritual aura.
The rainy season from June to September is also a good time to travel from Pune to Shirdi. The monsoon rings in cool and green weather conditions. Not only Shirdi, but the route from Pune is also extremely beautiful.
The summer months from March to May are the hottest months for travel. However, devotees still make way to Shirdi for the Ramnavami festival. Also, since children have long summer holidays, this route is explored during these months as well.
Things to do in Shirdi
Why do people visit Shirdi? What is in there that draws thousands of tourists each year? The simple answer is that it is the place where the legendary saint Sai Baba lived for many years of his lives. It is here that he performed several miracles and influenced the lives of people for betterment. The Sai Mandir is where the mortal remains of Sai Baba attract devotees from across the world. Devotees feel immense calm and gratitude when they bow their heads in Darshan and Aarti.
Besides, the Sai Temple, there are also many other spiritual attractions in Shirdi which are connected to the life and journey of Sai Baba. The Gurusthan and Dwarkamai for instances are important destinations that Sai Baba devotees also visit. The Saiteerth Theme Park established by the Malpani group is another wonderful tourist attraction in Shirdi.
Other places of interest to visit in Shirdi include Shani Shignapur Temple, Khandoba Mandir, Wet n Joy, water park etc.
Saiteerth Theme Park
People traveling from Pune to Shirdi, often visit the Saiteerth Theme Park. One of its kind, it is the first devotional theme park in India. Located a few minutes from the Sai Baba Mandir, it uses technology to showcase the nuances and impact of Sai Baba. Some of the shows such as, Sab Ka Malik Ek, Dwarkamai, Laser Show and the Sai Mosiac are heart-touching and educative. Besides, Teerth Yatra and Lanka Dahan are other religious shows that are worth watching. Well-kept and maintained, the reasonable entry fee and other facilities make it a much-loved attraction of Shirdi.
Lastly, Shirdi is an important destination on the list of pilgrim and tourist locations of India. Pune to Shirdi is an efficient travel route that caters to the transportation of hundreds of devotees and tourists. For all those who have a visit to Shirdi on their bucket list, taking this route and exploring its surrounding attractions is a great way to plan your vacation.