How to reach Shirdi from New Delhi ?
Om Sai Ram. . .
Since you people are planning to go to Shirdi and have searched for the best plan over Google, I pray to Sri Sai Baba to materialize your plan and give you darshan. :)
Today is 27th of Jan 2009. I went to Shirdi on 23rd of Jan 2009 i.e. Friday in morning.
So here's what I think is the best plan, also, it gives you a chance to visit Shri Shani Shignapur as well( It is a very famous and first Shani mandir. Although it does not needs an introduction but I still thought of putting up this line).
Now, I would suggest you people to make a plan for atleast 4 days. Just like I planned it, by Baba's and Shani Dev's grace. I took official off on 23rd of Jan 2009 also 24th and 25th were Saturday and Sunday respectively, besides 26th of Jan 2009 was Republic Day, so in all I had 4 days.
I took Goa Express from Nizzamuddin Railway station from New Delhi which departed around 3:00 Pm on 23rd Jan. Now, why did I choose Goa Express speciafically--- There are 2 reasons for it---
1. It takes the shortest time to reach Kopergaon(22 hrs)
2. While on our way back we can board the same train from Kopergaon at around 9:15 am.
1. Book 2 tier tickets(they are better)
2. Book tickets on tatkal and make sure they are confirmed. For your return trip make sure your ticket has boarding from Kopergaon(this is very neccessary, since in tatkal u get the tickets from main source to main destination but where you are boarding from is vital, so make a note of it).
You will reach Kopergaon at around 11 am next day( which is, trust me very good). As soon you come out of the station you can find Auto walas and shared cabbies. They charge somewhere around 20-25 rs per head for a 15 to 20 km ride from Kopergaon to Shirdi.(Dont worry, they drop you right in front of mandir).
Now for people who want to go to SHIRDI ONLY---
You can book any room at around 1000 bugs odd( wud be a 2 bedroom thing). But I suggest you pre book your room as I and my dad faced a lot of troubles-- ended up paying for 2100 for a night stay in Sai gangotri although room was worth only 1000 to 1100 bugs.
But yes there's one Sai Chahtra whose rates were awesome for AC double room it was for 1100 bugs and I guess I liked that... but since the rooms were full we could not get one.
There are many more, you just need to find it out, but my suggesstion PRE BOOK YOUR ROOM or else you'll end up paying a lot more.
Once you have took a room, you can freshen up and all and since you have time on your hand you can relax and then have Baba's darshan from 12pm when you have reached to early next morning arti at around 4. Rest is on Baba, when does he wants to give you darshan :).
Now for people who want to go Shani Shignapur as well ----
As soon as you have reached Shirdi which would be around 12 pm( if u have left Delhi on friday, then it means on 12 pm afternoon on saturday). As soon as you reach shirdi, just 50 steps ahead you will find autos shouting for SHANI SHIGNAPUR.... SHANI SHIGNAPUR... SHANI SHIGNAPUR...
Even these are autos/shared cabbies.. I would suggest you Shared Cabs since from Shirdi, Shani Shignapur is around 75-80 Kms, so I guess cabs are a better option. They charge you around 100-150 per head for both side travel(let me clarify, it means they take only 100-150 rs from you for the entire journey to and fro). Reaching Shani Shignapur would take around anything between 90 mins to 150 mins, since the roads there are very narrow and its connected to highway, so it takes a lot of time. The cabbie might stop in between for a juice/cocunut water break which is indeed refreshing :)
Assuming that you have left at 12 pm for Shani Shignapur you might reach at around 2 pm(at max 2:30 pm). You can have a bath there and go for Shani Pooja which would take around an hour so lets put it like--- you'll be able to leave Shani Shignapur at around 4pm. And you may reach Shirdi again at max by 6:30. You can refresh yourself and go for 7:30 aarti at Shirdi Mandir. Even better if you can have food and all and rest and sleep and wake up at around 2:00 am in the morning ( here I am taking about 2:00 am morning on Sunday) and queue for the morning aarti at 4:00am . I could not attend it :( but I am happy Baba gave me Darshan :)
If you follow this way you can easily have Darshan at Shirdi by 6 at max and then you can have food and morning tea. You can take back Auto/Shared cab back to Kopergaon which would take around 45 mins to 60 mins... means you'll be on Kopergaon station by 8:30 am max.
You can board the train by 9:15 and next day i.e. Monday morning by 7:am max you'll be delhi and then you have whole day to rest and if you want to, you can go to office as well :)
But trust me you won't be tired, if you tickets confirmed you'll be tired of relaxing :)
Besides the fact that BABA and SHANI DEV's Darshan give you immense energy, so there's no point or probability or scope of tiredness :)
Do let me know in case you have better ideas, Lets share them and have Darshan :)
I hope you soon get Darshan . . . until then GOD SPEED :)