Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

I do not look for options for this journey. Its KSRTC Airavat Club Class all the way - and I look for alternatives only when I end up not getting seats on this bus. This trip to TW's place for Onam was no different. I didn't look beyond this bus this time as well.

September 11, 2019:
Very few local buses seemed to be running on the day - most buses had taken a break for Onam. I was worried about getting to Palakkad, and ended up hiring an auto for the distance. I was at the bus station by around 2100hrs - my bus hadn't lined up yet, but it was parked a little away though. Soon later, the bus was brought in and boarding commenced. Like always, the bus was sold out today as well, and people got in real quick.

We started moving from Palakkad bus station at 2137hrs - seven minutes behind schedule. The driver was really lug happy, and kept shifting to the top most gear in no time. The engine struggled as it tried to pump out power at low rpms and high gears. The bus took the co…

Bangalore to Palakkad: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

Onam is the biggest celebration for any Keralite! Its the only festival we all celebrate irrespective of religion or caste - the biggest celebration of the state. Originally a harvest festival, with religious underlining, Onam is truly a festival that brings all people together. Every Keralite tries reaching back to his home state during this time - atleast most of us try doing that. This Onam was very special, and both our families (my parents and TW's parents) were to celebrate this year together. Onam was a damp affair last year due to the state's biggest deluge in history.

I had missed the booking dates for taking a train - trains were sold out by the time I realised, and I had to keep my eyes open on bus bookings. Both the KSRTC's open their bookings 30 days before the journey date - I opened the website of Karnataka RTC on the date the reservation opened, and I found the entire bus was empty. I decided to wait till the return booking also open - booking both ways to…

Coimbatore to Bengaluru: Metrolink Travels BharatBenz Sleeper

I am still clueless why I had left booking tickets for this date. I had booked a ticket to head to Palakkad (by train, which was eventually cancelled and replaced with a bus from Chennai) but hadn't booked any ticket for my return. I was expecting tickets to be available, and began looking for tickets quite late. By then, my favorite bus from Palakkad was already sold out, and special buses had tickets going at astronomical rates. Buses from Coimbatore were no different - I had no choices from there either. I realised that some operators hadn't opened bookings, and I had to take the risk of waiting for them. As the date neared, I found that Metrolink travels, a new player on the route, had opened bookings. The lower berths were gone already, and I could get a single upper berth instead.

September 02, 2019:
It was a rainy day. It continued drizzling even as it was evening. I had to leave early - I decided to leave early to avoid getting stuck in traffic on the way. This turned …

Chennai to Coimbatore: VigneshTAT AC Sleeper

This decision to book on VigneshTAT was quite straightforward. I did have come confusions before the booking went through though - the fares of different operators was one reason for the confusion. I wanted to try a particular service operated by VigneshTAT for a few reasons - one, they operated a MG Bus & Coach built 'LeeraZ' sleeper coach; second, the bus was built on a Tata LPO 1623 chassis (a new product in the market); third, it was a new operator for me. Fares listed on the website was on the higher side - I got a single lower berth blocked for me through a good friend, who also managed to get me a discount on the ticket price.

[Conflict of Interest: Although a discount was received on the ticket price, the operator, or their representatives, have not edited the content of this review, or mandated addition/deletion of any facts contained in this review]

August 31, 2019:
I had returned to my hotel room quite late in the evening. I had left from the place where I had w…

Bengaluru to Chennai: KSRTC Airavat Club Class via Chittoor

I was in quandary as I looked at tickets for Chennai from Bengaluru. I look at the plethora of options that listed on redbus - but the characteristic among them was that the fares remained high. I didn't want to pay a 4 digit sum for the small distance - quite out of curiosity, I headed to the KSRTC website and found very decent fares listed. I found this interesting option via Chittoor - I wanted to try this route, and this was the opportunity for me. I booked a window seat on the first row to enjoy the route as well!

August 30, 2019:
I had to leave office early for this bus - I took a taxi directly from office to Shantinagar bus station. I headed first to the restaurant nearby to have lunch. My bus entered the bus station as I was finishing my lunch (mine was the only departure at the time, thereby making it easy to understand that it was my bus). I received a message with the bus & crew details as I walked from the restaurant to the departure bay. A fairly old bus was doing…

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class, again!

This service from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (2130PGTBNG) is my new found hot favourite! This bus departs on time, and usually arrives before time - giving me sufficient time to have a short nap at home before heading to work. I booked this bus without a second though for my return from Palakkad to Bengaluru this time as well (and I will mostly do that for most of the future trips as well!)

August 19, 2019:
I got to the KSRTC bus station in Palakkad around 2100hrs - with enough time for my bus. I received an SMS with the bus number a few minutes before reaching the bus station - I was quite excited to note that I was getting a different bus every time I took this service! The bus was parked right at the exit gate of the bus station - as usual. Boarding hadn't commenced at this point of time. They commenced boarding around 2110hrs - I remained outside for some more time. I had two pieces of baggage and wanted to leave one in the boot - the conductor was accepting on…

Chennai to Coimbatore: National Travels GliderZ AC Sleeper

This journey came up at the last minute. I searched all over the booking portals for interesting options for traveling from Chennai to Coimbatore. I wanted to try a new operator - and did not want to repeat any operator. While searching for new operators, I found a lot of them. I even found two GliderZ buses listed among them. I decided to pick-up the newer one among them, and finalized National Travels. They also had single lower berths available - which is always my most preferred.

GliderZ is a premium sleeper model built by MG Bus & Coach, based in Belgaum, on a BharatBenz OF1623 chassis. I haven't tried this model earlier, and this was an opportunity to try this model as well. I was quite excited to have grabbed this opportunity. National Travels in a Chennai based operator, operating on various routes in Tamil Nadu - and is different from the Bangalore based National Travels. This operator is usually identified as "National Travels Chennai" on most portals.