Showing posts from September, 2011

Pandemonium square...

After three years of planning, booking and cancelling, I was finally at it – heading to Dudhsagar falls, near the Karnataka-Goa Border. I was accompanying Jayasankar on the trip. We were taking the Bangalore-Dharwad Siddaganga Express from Bangalore to Hubli, and then the Hubli-Vasco Link Express to Dudhsagar. Jay had arrived that morning at Bangalore, by the Chennai-Mysore Shatabdi Express. I was running late, and had to make a dash to the station. In the meantime, Jay got lunch for both of us. I just got into the station when Jay called up and said our train was on Platform 9 already, and I need to rush. The time was around 12:15 – and the scheduled departure of our train was 13:00. I walked through Platform 1, and then walked through the trolley path. Just as I reached Platform 7, the DEMU towards Bangarpet (Marikuppam?) started off. The train literally crawled out – it took too long to clear out. Once it cleared out, I headed towards Platform 8. I was heading to Platform 9 – a

On Kallada G4, after 4 years!

Kallada G4 - a smaller company, part of Kallada Group run by four brothers - recently introduced a new Volvo B9R service between Bangalore and Changanassery via Ernakulam and Alappuzha. Kallada G4 is a smaller operator compared to the brother concern Suresh Kallada. G4 operates all of 3 services - one each to Changanassery (B9R), Guruvayur (Semi-Sleeper Non-AC) and Kottayam (Sleeper Non-AC). Since the bus was new, booking on this service was a no-brainer - they did not have online reservation at that time, and I had to make a visit to their agent - Friends Travels at Madivala for the booking. The booking process was quick. The fare was Rs. 900 (compared to Rs. 950 on Suresh Kallada). The bus was almost empty at the time of booking. Interestingly, the bus that would carry me back was parked right outside the office at that time - had a quick look at the bus. Fast Forward to September 01, 2011. I was at Madivala by around 2045, for a 2130 departure. My last journey on a Kallada G4 bu

The ocean of milk..

Warning: Very long post. Might not be suitable for the general audience. It was chilling cold – sending shivers through my spine – I get off the train. Armed with a flashlight, I find my way to level ground. In the mean time, the locos let off a long horn, and starts off with a jerk. Jayasankar and me walk on to the other line to let the train clear off. Behind is the station building, which was well lit at that hour. The clears off, and we walk towards our shelter for the next two hours. It is a small chapel – with a couple of low height walls which serve as a bench. We settle down on one of them, rest our bags, and try to catch a few winks.  We barely manage to sleep, while the chugging sound of the DG3As reverberates across the Ghats. The loco pilot kept blowing the horn to break the eerie silence of that hour – silence is not an apt word here. The roar from the waterfall nearby filled the atmosphere. All of a sudden, we see some flashlights across the line – a group of about 20

On the day-night multi to Bengaluru..

For long, I've always been wondering why there aren't any day time bus services from Southern Kerala to Bangalore. Day buses always ran from Coimbatore, Madurai, etc to Bangalore. There is a day time train from Bangalore to Ernakulam. About a month back, a friend called me and said, Kallada was running a "day time special B9R" to Kerala. I was left awestruck - a quick glance at the Kallada website clarified that it was NOT a special, but a regular service! Wow! That was a long time dream come true for me! I love traveling over the day, and this was the perfect service for me. There comes a trip to Bangalore - like a god sent gift! For the first time, I'd also be traveling without luggage! I mulled by long term desire to travel bus-hopping, but somehow, I wasn't very ready to do it this time. Booking on the Day Volvo came as a no-brainer to me! The ticket was booked online, seat on the first row. The bus was absolutely empty when I made the reservation. On