Vijayapura to Bengaluru - on the Gol Gumbaz Express

I hadn't considered train as a option for return from Vijayapura - in fact, all my accomplices advised against taking the train since it takes a very long time to get to Bengaluru, compared to buses. Out of curiosity, I did check the train option, and I realised that the fastest train takes a good 15 hours for the distance, while buses take only around 10 hours! The curious traveller in me wanted to take the train this time - I knew I'd be quite tired after the long trip that I'd have performed before I reached Vijayapura (Bijapur). Booking a berth in an Airconditioned 3-tier coach seemed the best bet - I found there were lots of seats available too. I booked one, and got a Side upper berth in coach #B3.

January 28, 2019:
I had returned to my hotel room a little past 1300hrs, after my examination work. I took some rest before setting off to the railway station, some time around 1545hrs. My train was to depart from Vijayapura at 1655hrs - it took me a while to get an autori…

Pune to Bijapur: by 11139 Gadag Express train

During the planning phase, I had searched for tickets to return from Shirdi to Bijapur - all I found was one non-ac seater run by NEKRTC. I didn't want to risk traveling this distance by a non-ac bus. Alternatively, there was on Shivshahi bus operated from Aurangabad to Bijapur - Aurangabad was about 4 hours by road from Shirdi. This made me drop that idea as well. I then looked at options from Pune - the first stop were buses, I did find some interesting options here. For some reason, I decided to simply try the railways - I didn't know if any trains existed - so this was just a trial. I was stunned to see an express train listed for this route - I quickly checked the availability, and found it was waitlisted. I looked at buses once again - they seemed prohibitively expensive for the distance. I was back on the IRCTC website, and booked a waitlisted ticket by this train (11139 Mumbai CSMT - Gadag Express), boarding at Pune. I had decided to keep the Aurangabad-Bijapur bus as…

Shirdi, Shrirampur to Pune: The first Shivshahi experience

I hadn't booked any ticket to travel back from Shirdi to Pune. I had a train ticket from Pune to Bijapur (Vijayapura), where I to officiate for an examination. I had a plethora of options - but no direct options, as such. The last reservable Shivshahi bus from Shirdi to Pune was at 1200hrs, which would drop me in Pune quite early, and I had no way of spending time till my train to Vijayapura arrives (at 0100hrs). I had decided to leave a little late from Shirdi, and left all the decision make to the day of travel.

January 26, 2019:
I checked out of my hotel, had a light lunch and headed towards the bus station some time around 1300hrs. My first stop was the enquiry counter at the bus station. They updated that there were no more Shivshahi buses to Pune until late in the evening - they had non-AC buses, though. I badly wanted to try the Shivshahi, and hence headed to the reservation counter. I asked for a ticket from Shrirampur to Pune by Shivshahi - I picked up a bus that departs …

Pune to Shirdi by MSRTC

January 25, 2019:

I had just alighted from the Shatabdi Express, having arrived from Kalaburagi (Gulbarga). I tried getting a cab/auto on the Ola app, to head to Shivajinagar bus station - but none turned up. I hired an auto from the railway station, making my wallet lighter by about Rs. 100. As I traveled towards the bus station, shivering in the cold, I checked on the internet if there were any buses to Shirdi that I could reserve on. I found none, and decided to try my luck at the MSRTC bus station. I felt uneasy as I neared the bus station - the entire area was crowded and chocked. I understood that getting a bus wouldn't be easy.

The bus station was packed to capacity - It was impossible even to get to the enquiry counter! The MSRTC website claimed there were buses at 0000 and 0100hrs - but I had no clue if they'd arrive, and I was fairly sure it would be impossible to get into them, in any case. I looked at 'Plan-B' - taking a bus to Nashik. I headed to the platf…

Kalaburagi to Pune: 12026 Shatabdi Express

The search for tickets to travel from Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) to Shirdi wasn't easy. I couldn't find any direct options - although the state transport corporation operated a bus, it didn't seem to have reservation. I did find some options ex-Solapur, but getting to Solapur in time for that option didn't seem feasible, either. I had to look at other options, and it looked it was best for me to head to Pune first, and then look at option to head to Shirdi. Now, there were multiple trains to reach Pune - the 12026 Secunderabad-Pune Shatabdi looked the best bet for me. This train had dynamic pricing, and the ticket was getting expensive by the day. I booked a ticket on this train, and bagged a window seat as well. I did opt for catering as well.

January 25, 2019:
I was quite excited about traveling in a Shatabdi Express - one after almost 10 years, and the first in an LHB coach consist! I was quite excited that I checked-out from the hotel quite early. I was at the station b…

Bengaluru to Kalaburagi: Vijayanand Volvo B9R

My next examination duty was at Gulbarga (Kalaburagi), followed by one more at Bijapur (Vijayapura). The duties was separated by just a day - this meant, it made no sense for me to return to Bengaluru. I decided to use this opportunity to visit Shirdi on this intervening day. I drew plans to travel to Shirdi from Gulbarga, and later to Bijapur from Shirdi. Now began the process of booking tickets - I first searched for tickets from Bengaluru to Kalaburagi. Trains were ruled out - all of them were waitlisted. The next option were buses - I had three options - two were sleepers and one was a seater. I picked the seater - and VRL, it was. Like everytime, I booked tickets through their own website - I received my ticket through SMS soon later.

January 24, 2019:
I was back from office by around 1800hrs - with plenty of time to spare for my bus. My bus was to depart from VRL's Yeshwantpur pick-up point (Govardhan Theatre) at 2100hrs, and I had to leave home only by 1945hrs. I spent time…

The return to Bengaluru from Raichur: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

I was returning on a Sunday, and actually started searching for the ticket on Friday. Direct options were pricey - the KSRTC bus was priced higher than normal, but was still not exorbitant. The private options were over priced. I had an inkling to returning over the day, so that I could be home by night. My counterpart in Raichur suggested that I could take a train that leaves at 1130hrs - but that one was sold out, and I did not have any interest in booking a waitlisted ticket. As I pondered over the options I had, I got this idea of looking for buses from Mantralayam. Bingo! KSRTC listed a day time special bus from Mantralayam, leaving from there at 1400hrs! This was the perfect recipe I was looking for - with no further ado, I booked my ticket on this bus. The bus had seats only on the right side - the sun would be on this side. But I had no choice anyway. The website displayed the seating chart of a Volvo B9R, and the operating depot was shown as "Bangalore-2" - this me…