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Ernakulam to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R

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Travelling without a return ticket is getting a very bad regular misadventure for me. This trip was no different. I had a plethora of options to choose from for my return trip - but like my outbound, convenience took precedence. Kerala State RTC's Volvo B9R aka Garuda King Class gave a very big convenience that it would drop me near my home - rather just 6 kms away from home, at Peenya Satellite bus station. I booked my ticket about a week before travel - and I was quite shocked that they were charging end-to-end fares for the bus, and almost half the bus was already sold out. I picked up a seat in the rear half of the bus, and, quite interestingly, booked an end-to-end ticket. I planned to change my boarding point to Thrissur, if needed on the day of my journey.

October 21, 2017:
Towards noon on my day of journey, I decided to board the bus at Ernakulam itself. Leaving home after a long stay is surely a heart-wrenching moment. I hate waiting for the bus at Thrissur - the bus stat…

Trivandrum to Ernakulam: by KSRTC's Garuda Maharaja

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I hadn't realised that I was stuck in Trivandrum, until I saw the crowd at the bus station! I hadn't really realised that I was traveling a day before a long long weekend - a Second Saturday, Sunday, followed by Kerala's "national" festival aka Hartal on Monday, an opportunity to 'fall sick' on Tuesday and Diwali holiday on Wednesday! Essentially a five day, extended weekend! Buses were sold out, while the unreserved ones had people ready to pounce the moment the door opened! I had no option but to stay over that night, and try my luck with early morning buses. Intuitively, I headed to the reservation website and found that the Scania bus to Coimbatore, leaving Trivandrum at 0400hrs, had 7 seats available - the last two rows! I grabbed one of them quickly - seat #41 was chosen.

October 14, 2017:
My phone woke me up at an unearthly 0245hrs! I remained groggy for a while, before darting out of my bed and getting ready. I checked out of the hotel at 0315hrs,…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R - a repeat!

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Call it coincidence, call it a repeat - I was all set to head home for a vacation, and I booked on the Bangalore-Ernakulam Volvo service of Kerala RTC once again! And like the last time, it was convenience that weighed over anything else. I had to delay my booking until the last minute, since I was really not sure if I'd be able to travel. My journey was confirmed only by around 1700hrs - I logged on to the website to see most forward half seats occupied. I quickly selected one in the rear half - #29 it was.

October 09, 2017:
Since it was vacation time, my colleague was also traveling to the bus station. So we decided to share a cab - the Ola cab came in about 5 minutes from booking - the guy got us to the satellite bus station in Peenya by about 1755hrs. While I was in the cab, I received a call from the bus conductor to confirm if I was boarding from Peenya itself - this was important since Peenya happens to be the default boarding point, and a lot of passengers forget to change…

Bangalore to Thrissur: Garuda King Class Volvo of KSRTC

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This was a pre-vacation trip home. I hadn't planned this trip, until a few weeks before I actually travelled. I was to return from home with my brother - and hence, I only had to take care of one way reservations. My travel was coinciding with a four day long weekend in Bengaluru - which means, every migrant in the city travels out. I decided to leave a few days earlier, using the compensatory offs I had accumulated at work. Leaving a couple of days earlier meant I was traveling on a weekday, and I had plenty of options to choose from. A slightly expensive but convenient Kerala State RTC Volvo or a cheaper Karnataka State RTC Scania! I chose the former since it starts from a bus station very close to my residence, and I am saved of all the inconvenience of having to travel to Shantinagar. 
September 26, 2017: After a tiring day at work, I hurried with my dinner - at 5pm! I hired an ola cab a little past 1715hrs, and rushed to Basaveshwara Bus Station - the satellite bus station lo…

Thrissur to Bengaluru on Airavat Diamond Class

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Getting a ticket to return from Kerala on weekends is not a joke - the fact that it was also during Onam celebrations compounded my miseries. Onam was on Monday, and I initially planned to return on Monday night - but there were no tickets. I checked for tickets from Coimbatore, which also seemed sold out. It dawned on me later that I would be travelling with lots of baggage, and there was no way I could do a split journey. I had to travel through in a single bus - then began the hunt for buses from Thrissur. I decided to travel a day earlier (which turned out to be a good decision) - and checked for tickets for Sunday night. Although this meant I had to spend the festive day at work, getting an affordable ticket was more important to me. 
I quickly checked Kerala RTC, which was sold out. My next stop was Karnataka RTC, which luckily had a couple of seats vacant for the 2133hrs Thrissur-Bangalore Airavat Diamond Class. And one of those empty seats was a window! I grabbed it without m…

Bangalore to Thrissur: On a Holiday special train!

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An innocuous message on our colleagues WhatsApp group informed me about a one-off special train on September 01, 2017 from Yeswantpur to Kochuveli. I had no intentions to go home for Onam till this message popped up - in fact, I had planned to spend the weekend with my colleagues. I had just shifted my home to a location closer to office, and I had my colleagues and students all around. The lure of traveling home for Onam was much stronger - I fired the IRCTC Connect App, and it showed that the special train had some 13 seats more in Three tier AC. I made a split second decision and grabbed one seat in 3A - I got one Side Upper Berth. Then began the hunt for the return ticket - more on that later!

A little later my colleague informed she was in S18 - "Sleeper Coach 18?", was the first question in my mind. The answer for my question came the next morning - as I spotted a special rake with 19 sleeper coaches, 2 AC 3-Tier coaches and 2 Luggage-cum-brake vans in the consist. I …

Kozhikode to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

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July 25, 2017: 
This was a journey that was booked at the last moment. I had to rush home for an emergency - I took a flight to go home (a ticket booked for a cheap price, at the last minute - I decided to enjoy that flight, and did not make note of the timeline at all). After my work at my home down was over, I headed out to Kodungallur town. A new bus service was being launched from my hometown to the temple town of Kollur (Mookambika) in Karnataka. I decided to attend the program - which went on till evening. I also decided to make a journey on the first trip - I was to travel to Kozhikode. Being the inaugural trip, the service was delayed, and I did not want to risk reserving my tickets to travel from Kozhikode to Bengaluru.

It was really hot out there, plus I was exhausted from the long hot day. I dozed off for a while, but the heat wasn't helping matters. I am not a fan of non-ac buses (especially for long rides) and the heat made things really bad for me. To add to my miser…