A road journey from Bangalore to Mumbai!
Another wet day…Sunday, May 28 2006, 1330 hours: Myself, my dad, brother and sister-in-law, left the home on a car. We slowly moved towards Kempegowda Bus Station (a.k.a. Majestic). We reached majestic some 40 minutes later. As we got down from the car, it started pouring down. Luckily the down-pour was short. We made it into the bus station. Kempegowda Bus Station, popularly known as Majestic, is the Central bus station for intra-state as well as inter-state services operated by different state transport corporations. The bus station is very huge and has direct bus services to almost all major cities and towns in Karnataka and the neighboring states. My bus was to depart from Platform one at 1500 hours. The other platforms mostly had buses to places inside the state. There is a dedicated platform for buses towards
My bus came in at about 1430. The bus, a Volvo owned-by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), was sparkling clean. The service is named as “Airavat”, and the buses are usually white in colour to signify the name! The registration number of the bus was KA-01-F-8040. The bus has two drivers and one conductor. The passenger bagged is stored in the luggage carrier under the body of the bus. Only hand baggage is permitted inside the bus. My seat number was 39 which is in the rear of the 45-seater bus. This route is supposed to have a semi-sleeper bus, but today it was a normal bus. Sharp at 1500 the bus left from the terminus. The first four seats of the bus were kept aside for the crew, and the last five seats were un-reserved. There were 5 passengers going to
The ride was smooth and calm unlike normal AC buses. The engine is rear-mount and is too powerful for Indian roads. The 7-litre engine which churns out 260hp of power is adequate enough to power the Air-Conditioning also! Each passenger has an individual air outlet and a reading lamp. The Air-suspension dampens most of the jerks, but the major ones are known. I could hear the whine of the engine since I was sitting right above it! The bus crawled through the crowded
The bus doesn’t stop at any bus station unless and until there is someone to get down. We entered Davangere bus station by “mistake”. The bus left the bus station without even stopping. The driver stopped at a Hotel for Dinner at 2000. The hotel was big and clean. We had a halt of almost an hour there, and finally departed at about 2100. The second movie, Bobby Deol starring Jurm, was being played. The movie got over by about 2200, and the conductor put down the curtains. The bus cruised past villages and towns before finally stopping at
The driver was maintaining a speed of atleast 100 kmph on the expressway. To our company was a Volvo operated by MSRTC which was literally at or above our speed. We pulled into a food plaza at about 0800. I was not is a mood to have breakfast, and instead opted to have a Tea. We left the food plaza at about 0820, and the driver resorted to “flying”. The bus exited the express way at about 0845, and finally reached Belapur at 0900. I had earlier informed the conductor that I wanted to get down at Belapur and he accordingly had the bus stopped at Belapur. The speed was surprising! The bus managed to cover the 100-odd kilometer distance in just over an-hour! Anyway, I had luggage in the under-floor luggage compartment. The conductor opened it for me, and the bus left soon after! I had a walk to the nearest Auto-Rickshaw stand, and took one home!
Overall, I would rate the journey at 8/10. The ride was comfortable, the AC was powerful. The only problem was that the sleep wasn't comfortable (due to personal constraints!). The timings was nice. These buses really pose a risk for railways! A train takes anywhere between 23-25 hours while this bus takes only 18-19 hours!