Showing posts from May, 2016

A Quick hop to Chitradurga: KSRTC Airavat B7R

Note: This is NOT a recent trip! Another trip to Chitradurga hung over my head. My previous travel there was very tiresome. Chitradurga is only around 4 hours by road from Bangalore - a shade over 200kms. But this make it a cumbersome experience if you are looking to reach there early in the morning. The last time, I had to leave at a very unearthly hour to make it there on time. This time, though, I had to be there only by around 11am - and as if it was godsend, there existed a KSRTC Airavat bus scheduled perfectly at that time. Without a second thought, I booked tickets for myself, and two of my colleagues, who were also headed to Chitradurga. February 09, 2016: Like every time, I found it really difficult to get off the bed, and ended up being slightly late. And, the app cab I had booked did not turn up on time, delaying me further. It was past 0625hrs by the time the cab wheeled out of my neighborhood. Soon after the car got moving, I got the SMS from KSRTC with the bus and c

The app cab! A taxi war in Bangalore!

Autorickshaws are quite an expensive option in most parts of Bangalore. Affectionately  called the three wheeled pirates, they most often try to strip you of all the cash you have in the wallet. Its not uncommon to hear them ask for three digit sums for walk-able (albeit a long walk) distances. Refusal is a part of their daily routine. Meters run faster than the auto - just like how a stopwatch runs! In certain areas, BMTC helps them a lot by not operating buses - and passengers are left to the mercy of these pirates who operate vehicles that are otherwise unfit to operate, and charge princely sums. Sometime in the 2008-2009 period, the first organised taxi operator appeared in Bangalore - the good ol' Meru Cabs. The green coloured taxis helped a lot of people escape from the auto pirates and made for comfortable journeys in Bangalore. But the fares were far from being called economical - they are today the most expensive cab option in Bangalore. Fast Forward to end of 2010 -

A happening day, ending with an unexpected journey in KPN

Note: This report is not of a recent journey - but recollection of a journey that happened over six months ago. October 21, 2015: It was a very happening day - a day that started very early in the morning, very tiring and taxing and ended quite late. I am not going into the details. It was sometime around 1530hrs or so [approximate], and I was standing outside the new Sankari bus station near Salem in Tamil Nadu. I had nothing but my camera bag and a bottle of water with me. A couple of buses went by without stopping, before one stopped for me. This was a bus from Erumapalayam-1 Depot of Salem Division of TNSTC-Salem - a fairly new one built on a TATA chassis. The TNSTC bus that took me from Sankari to Salem.. There was no difficulty finding a seat - I got one on a three seater - a full three seater for me. Leg space was a premium here - can hardly sit without the knee hitting the seat ahead. The driver was quite fast (the only consolation in the otherwise boring journey) - he

The resplendent moth! Salabham Scania: Thrissur to Bangalore

I've never been so confused about deciding a bus to travel in. It was a tight competition between multiple operators. My needs were simple - a mid-afternoon departure from Thrissur, and a pre-midnight arrival at Bangalore. The options were plenty. But then, the curiosity to try a new operator weighed over other factors. After a lot of thinking around, I decided to book on the new Salabham Scania. The Salabham website had some error and the seat layout never loaded properly. I ended up booking on RedBus later. The Salabham beauties! One more shot of the pair.. Salabham is a famous tour operator based in Chottanikkara, near Ernakulam. These new Scanias mark their entry to the regular tour operation segment. They took delivery of two Scania Metrolink HD 14.5M coaches on April 02, 2016. These buses have a distinction of being the first in the industry to bear airbrush art graphics. The buses bear graphics of two famous art forms of Kerala - Kathakali and Mohiniyattom. The art

On LeCosta 666 to Coimbatore

It is only a matter of opportunity to book this one. The fact that the last minute prices were quite less was an icing on the cake. I had to make an urgent trip to Kerala for an official purpose. Since my appointment was on Monday, I decided to do the trip on Sunday instead. Buses on Saturday night were sold out (quite interestingly) and my only option was to take a flight or a bus on Sunday morning - Saturday evening flights were way beyond my budget as well. I booked a ticket to Coimbatore on LeCosta aka Air Costa for a Sunday morning. I was quite excited to be flying an Embraer again, and on the E-190 for the first time. Air Costa is the sole Embraer operator in the country. They, earlier, flew a combination of E-170s and E-190s (two each) - but they recently brought down their operations to three E-190s at the beginning of Summer 2016. May 01, 2016: Yet another morning flight! Unlike my previous morning flights this year, I decided not to take a cab to the airport this time. I