The bus was travelling from Mumbai to Shirdi — a small temple town famous for the shrine of Sai Baba, a spiritual master revered as a saint by millions across religious faiths.
Police said the bus, with about 50 passengers on board, collided head-on with the lorry at 5.30am.
Images shared on social media showed the mangled remains of the bus as locals and an ambulance tried to reach the injured.
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde has ordered an investigation into the accident, which occurred near Pathare village on the road from Nashik city to Shirdi.
The state government will pay the cost of treatment for the injured, a statement from Mr Shinde’s office said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced compensation for victims' families and injured survivors in a message of condolence.
“Pained by the loss of lives in an accident on the Nashik-Shirdi highway," he said. "Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. An ex-gratia of rupees 2 lakh [$2,400] from PMNRF [Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund] would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given rupees 50,000."
Each year in India, tens of thousands of people die in road accidents caused by negligence, faulty road design, lax laws and corruption, making crashes one of the country's biggest causes of unnatural death.
More than 150,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2021, according to figures released by the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways in December.