Bengaluru to Chennai: Thirumal Alaghu Travels Volvo Celeste Sleeper

I've been wanting to go to Chennai since quite some time, but didn't have any reason to do that. A reason to go to Chennai came in the form of an official appointment. Two of my colleagues were also traveling with me. They had a single requirement - a Sleeper bus was preferred. Based on our requirement, we had to travel post-noon the previous day of our appointment. We chose to take a bus that goes to Koyambedu - this removed a few operators from the list. We refined the search further, and I stumbled upon Thirumal Alaghu Travels (TAT) while searching for options. A Volvo Multi-axle 'Celeste' Sleeper was on offer at fairly low fares - the pick-up and drop times suited us to the T as well.

August 15, 2019:
Independence day is always busy for an academician. It was no different for me either. The morning half went in College - with hoisting of the tri-colour, followed by cultural events. The bag I was to carry with me was delivered only after I returned from office - it …

Kannur to Bengaluru by train!

August 08, 2019:
The alarm went off at 0600hrs! I had planned to go out for some bus fanning in the morning. I was a little tired to wake up at that time, and snoozed the alarm. I finally got off my bed by 0630hrs - rushed with the morning rituals and started off from the hotel I was put up in. I had rained cats and dogs the previous night - the effect of the torrential downpour was evident everywhere. The road had lots of puddles, and a lot of hoarding had be blown away by the wind! I was flummoxed by the complete absence buses of Fort Road - buses from Bengaluru should've been standing there at this point of time! I flagged down an autorickshaw to get to the KSRTC bus station at Caltex Junction. The driver casually said the buses hadn't come from Bengaluru since the road was closed. I assumed he was talking about the road closure in Makkutta pass, and ignored his comment.

I noticed that KSRTC buses from Bengaluru weren't present at the bus station either. I did some bus …

Bengaluru to Kannur: Golden Travels Volvo B8R

One fine day - between some serious work in the office, I receive this call from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as a faculty member in a Pharmacy College in Kerala, and had called me to inform of an appointment as an external examiner in their university! My appointment was in a college near Kannur - this was a major surprise for me. The travel lover in me quickly got to checking tickets for this journey, and I finalised taking Golden Travels' new Volvo B8R that operates from Chennai to Kannur via Bengaluru. This was also the last bus from Bengaluru, and is a safer option for me - even if I get stuck in office for longer than usual.

As the day of my journey came closer, broke this terrible news that the road to Kannur was closed due to a landslide. A section of the road in the Maakootta pass (between Virajpet and Iritty) had collapsed and the road was closed. Buses were re-routed via Mananthavady - this means a longer journey and a delay in getting to Kannur. I …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

After my last experience with KSRTC's Palakkad-Bengaluru Airavat Club Class, I did not look further at other options when I booked this ticket. This option was also the cheapest at that time, and made all the sense to book this bus.

August 05, 2019:
I had decided to try using public transportation to get to Palakkad this time. A lot of enquiries were made to confirm the timings of buses in the evening hours. An autorickshaw was arranged to get me from TW's home to the nearest bus stop. The auto driver dropped me at the bus stop by around 1915hrs - he offered to wait till I got a bus, but I refused. There was brief wait to get a bus - and it poured down this time. The bus turned up at around 1930hrs - it wasn't very crowded either. I managed to get a seat in the bus. The bus got to Palakkad town bus station by around 2020hrs - I took an autorickshaw from here to the KSRTC bus station, about a kilometre away. I was at the KSRTC bus station at 2030hrs - a full hour before the…

Bengaluru to Coimbatore: MSS Bharat Benz AC Sleeper

While looking out for tickets to travel to Coimbatore, the MSS AC Sleeper hit my eye, more than once. I had booked on MSS sometime earlier, but the travel didn't happen and I ended up cancelling my ticket. MSS - aka Mettur Super Services operates fairly new BharatBenz buses on the Bangalore-Coimbatore route. I have been wanting to try this operator since long, and did not think twice before booking this ticket.

August 03, 2019:
I got to Kalasipalya, my boarding point, by around 2130hrs - almost an hour before my bus was to depart. I spent the rest of my time spotting different buses departing at that time from Kalasipalya. I received a call from the MSS office by around 2200hrs, asking my whereabouts. The guy at the other end of the phone (later identified as the attendant of the bus) gave me very specific, point-to-point advice about how to get to their office, and request that I reach early so that we could depart early. Bonus points for the call!

Getting to their office was rea…

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

Booking this bus was a no-nonsense option. I always prefer buses originating from my boarding point, so that I don't have to wait endlessly. Karnataka RTC operates more premium services to Kerala than Kerala RTC, and hence is the operator of choice for most people. Aside the number of options, Karnataka RTC also offers cheaper fares and ensure economical travel for lots of people. I opted for the 2130 Palakkad Bengaluru Airavat Club Class service for my return for the reasons mentioned earlier.

July 21, 2019:
I left from TW's place along sometime around 2015hrs - with over an hour to go for my bus. I was dropped outside the KSRTC bus station by my father-in-law. It was drizzling. KSRTC bus station Palakkad is a terrible place to be in, especially if it rains. There is hardly any shelter, and the road inside the bus station in not paved either. Its full of craters (not potholes). My bus to Bangalore was already parked near the exit gate of the bus station. I left my bag in the …

Bangalore to Palakkad: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

This trip was not supposed to be by road - I had a train ticket - a precious train ticket, that I had booked a good three months in advance. Like always, advance planning never works for me, and this time was no different. I had to travel a day earlier, and ended up having to cancel my train ticket and take a bus instead. I decided to take an early evening bus so that I could reach Palakkad late in the night, around mid-night, so that I could sleep well before I head out to do my work. I had to choose between the two KSRTCs - I opted for Karnataka RTC - which ensures I get a discount for my return ticket as well! I picked the Bangalore-Trivandrum Airavat Club Class service.

July 18, 2019:
I left a little earlier than usual from office, and took a metro towards Lalbagh station. Getting an auto from Lalbagh station to Shantinagar turned out to be the toughest task. I lost quite some time searching for an auto - but managed to get to Shantinagar well on time. The bus was brought to the b…