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Showing posts from 2013

Bangalore bound, on Kerala Lines

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Kerala Lines is a new entrant (not really) in the field. Travel Centre - a fairly old Thrissur based agent - operates Kerala Lines. They've been operating weekend specials from Bangalore to Kerala since quite some time. They were handling the services of Shama Transport from Kerala earlier, then moved over to operating some other operators. A couple of months back, they started operating two new Volvo Multi-Axle buses to Pathanamthitta. The white beauties kept attracting quite often, but since I've not been traveling often these days, the opportunity to try them kept eluding me. Meanwhile, the service gained popularity and started getting really great reviews. My chance to try the service came in the form of my Niece's birthday celebrations at my home town. Not wasting any time, I got a seat blocked from the Travel center office in Bangalore. So it was Kerala Lines for my next Thrissur-Bangalore journey. December 10, 2013: After the celebrations at home, and a visit to

The Airavat to Thrissur, via Gudalur

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Sometime during Dussehra, Karnataka SRTC came up with a new Airavat service to Thrissur via Mysore. This bus curiously starts from Mysore Road Satellite Terminal at a very awkward 3pm, reaching Thrissur at an even awkward 1AM. The timing is no different in the opposite stretch. This service made me quite curious. The website did not give any clue about the route it takes beyond Mysore. But the running timings somewhat gave me a clue that this could be via Gudalur-Nilambur. Some days after the bus got running, I got information that the service is operated by Mysore depot! Now that was something quite interesting. I thought I must try this service once. But I travel very rarely these days, and I did not see an opportunity in the near future to try the service as well. Sometime later, I so turned out that my Niece's first birthday is to be celebrated at our hometown - and that was on a working day. This was the chance - sure! December 09, 2013: I had to leave for my hometown on t

KSRTC Merc Benz: Thrissur to Bangalore yet again!

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I was thinking of going home after a very very long time. The dates I was planning was still a month away - without another thought, I went ahead and checked on the Karnataka SRTC website. The Thrissur-Bangalore B9R was almost sold out already, while the Ernakulam-Bangalore Merc Tri-axle had a lot of seats - I decided to book on this one, and selected a seat around the middle of the bus. Days went past. As the traveling day came closer, I was unsure if I'd be able to travel. It so turned out that the weekend would be working, and I'd have to take a leave to go home. I almost dropped the plan to go home, but did not cancel the ticket. Finally, on Friday afternoon, I decided to head home (read here ). September 22, 2013: I got the first message about my bus at around 6pm. The message mentioned my bus number to be "KA-01-F-9275" from "Bangalore Depot-2". That was the beginning - Karnataka SRTC kept sending me the same message time and again - I got the mess

Shama "BigBus" : Bangalore to Thrissur

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Friday, September 20, 2013 It was a calm Friday morning. I was still unsure if I should go home that evening. I had a return ticket for Sunday, but hadn't booked any for going home. I was still confused after I got off the phone talking to mom. I reached office in the morning as usual, and was busy with some work until noon. My afternoon, I had made up my mind to go home that evening. Now, I had to be kidding to decide to go home on a Friday. I logged on to RedBus, and was shocked to see that all the operators had tickets - that too at normal rates! I quickly narrowed down to three options - S.Kallada (my all-time favorite), Shama and RKG. Kallada was ruled out this time - for reasons that I still don't know. I called up my friend to get tickets for RKG - he couldn't attend the calls. A split second decision, and I logged on to the Shama website, and booked a seat for their 10pm Ernakulam bus. I took a print out of the ticket after reaching home. Like everytime, I was

Kottayam to Bangalore via Kumily in Kallada B9R

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This was an unexpected journey. I was actually planning to go home after the Idukki bus fanning trip, spend a day there and then head back to Bangalore. But some twist in the tale meant that I had to search for tickets for my return journey. The second day schedule of the busfanning trip was still not very clear – so I was not very sure where to keep my boarding point at. After spending a full day on Google Maps, I figured out the exact route that we’d be travelling on and also figured out exit plans. I decided to book a ticket from Kottayam. Now, the next question was – which bus? I had to choose between the two Kalladas. The elimination round was quick – the G4 buses did not have tickets – I quickly decided to select the Kallada (Suresh) service via Kumily. Tickets were booked through a third party website to save some money (thanks to the discount coupons). I chose a seat towards the front this time – B1 it was. July 21, 2013 I remembered that I hadn’t taken a print out

Bangalore to Pathanamthitta by Shama B9R

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This time, its trip to Pathanamthitta to join a group of like-minded bus enthusiasts heading on a two day bus fanning trip through some scenic routes in central Kerala, and I was in a quandary about what bus to take. I had lots of options to take, and all of them were equally inviting as well. The main confusion was between taking a bus via the AC road or the one via MC road. After a lot of thoughts, I decided to book on Bharathi – so called up my good friend DJ to get a seat. He confirmed one. But things were awry later, and the service was cancelled for reasons beyond their control. He got me a seat on Shama for the journey. So I was travelling through MC road! July 19, 2013 The confirmation about my ticket came only a couple of hours before I left office.   I was on a university assignment, and there was heavy work all through the day – it took me some time to settle the work and leave the place. Heavy traffic on the way meant that I reached home quite late. I had to ru

An 8 hour ride by boat: From Kollam to Alappuzha

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Motorboats have been an object of fantasy right from my childhood – I love motorboats as much as I am afraid of rowboats. The first picture that comes to my mind when someone says “Boat” – would be a journey to my mother’s hometown. That was a journey is a diesel powered motorboat riding along the Pamba river. The boat used to vibrate so badly that one would start itching their nose within minutes of commencing the journey. The seats used to have “coir cushions” covered in green rexine. I did my longest journey by boat sometime in May 2005 – that was a two hour journey from my mother’s place (Nedumudy) to Alappuzha. I vaguely remember the fare to be Rs. 8 at that time (the bus would take only 30 minutes and charge only Rs. 7)!! Fast forward to 2012: I and Jayasankar once discussed about a plan to travel from Kollam to Alappuzha by boat! One fine weekend, Jayasankar calls me up, and asks if I was free that weekend for a ride from Kollam to Alappuzha – that was surely set to