Showing posts from June, 2016

Club Class'd: Bangalore to Ooty!

A six day training workshop in Ooty. Once the approvals from office came, and the registration got confirmed, I got to the task of booking tickets. I just checked with RedBus if there were private operators - but only some Sleepers showed up. I did not want a Sleeper bus to ride up the ghats. The next option was obvious - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). KSRTC operates Volvo buses on this route - both day and night. They upgraded some of their services to Airavat Club Class a few months ago, as well. I was always surprised how these Multi-axle buses manage the windy road up to Ooty from Gudalur. Without much thinking, I went ahead and booked both ways on day services.

June 19, 2016:
I still had the hangover of the previous days journeys. I got up a little late because of that. After a hurried breakfast, I hunted for an Ola! Cabs were scarce since it was a Sunday morning. After a bit of hunting, I managed to get one, who dropped me at Shantinagar by around 0900hrs. M…

Kozhikode to Bangalore: Garuda King Class!

I had written in my previous post about booking this journey. I had been planning a trip on this bus for a long long time. I had two reasons for this plan - this would be me first time ascending the Thamarassery Ghat in a Volvo bus during the day, and second, this would be the first day trip in a Kerala RTC Volvo Multi-axle bus. I first checked tickets for this bus, and found that the left side window seat on the first row was available - perfectly what I wanted. I booked this seat first, before booking the Muvattupuzha-Kozhikode ticket (read about that trip here).

June 18, 2016:
I had reached Kozhikode at 0300hrs. I spent time roaming around the bus station till 0400hrs. It was raining for most of the time, and I waited till the rain subsided a bit. I walked out of the bus station sometime around 0415 and headed to a lodge outside and took a room - I wanted to stretch a bit and then get fresh. I checked out of the room by 0600hrs and walked back to the bus station. While walking back…

Maharaja.. Garuda Maharaja: Muvattupuzha to Kozhikode

I was really confused. I had some official work in a small village near Muvattupuzha, in Ernakulam District of Kerala. My work was expected to be over by around 5pm. I had to return to Bangalore the next day, and had to necessarily reach Bangalore before night. I tried adding up some other work I had in Trivandrum - but the connections to return to Bangalore didn't work out well, and had to drop that plan. I initially thought to taking a bus straight from Muvattupuzha to Bangalore - but only last row seats were available. While casually browsing through the KSRTC Fans Facebook group, it suddenly struck to me that I could realise my long pending dream of travelling in the Kozhikode-Bangalore Volvo this time - and this was the best opportunity for me to accomplish that.

Now comes the next question - How do I get to Kozhikode in time for that bus? Thats when the post on the facebook group about a new Trivandrum-Manipal Scania service of KSRTC struck me. I quickly headed to the KSRTC…

The Garuda King Class: Bangalore to Thrissur!

My last journey by a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter referred to as KSRTC) Volvo Multi-axle bus was back in October 2015. Although I made an attempt to travel in one in November 2015, I got their Scania trial bus instead. I had a trip to Kerala imminently. As soon as the date got fixed, I booked in a KSRTC bus, without too much thinking. The reasons were aplenty - One, I hadn't traveled in one for quite some time, two, they dropped me in Thrissur town (which most private operators don't do), three, they were damn cheap (at Rs. 785, this was a steal) since it was a weekday, and four, they'd pick me up from near my office (college)!

The Volvo Multi-axle fleet of KSRTC was recently christened as Garuda King Class. This happened soon after their fleet of Scania buses were inducted, which got the name Garuda Maharaja. The brand isn't used widely yet, and the reservation portal still prefers to call it AC Multiaxle. KSRTC introduced flexi fares a few mo…

Back to Bangalore, from Chitradurga, on the Airavat!

I had made a round trip booking this time. I opted for a bus that leaves from Chitradurga around 5pm so that I'd back in Bangalore before midnight. Since KSRTC gives a discounts for round trip bookings, I hadn't thought about another operator much.

June 08, 2016:
I was dropped at the bus station by a teacher at the examination centre, who happens to stay close by. It was all cloudy, and it felt like it was 6pm, although the time was just 1630hrs then. My bus was to arrive at 1700hrs - I had to spent around half-an-hour at the bus station. An earlier bus to Bangalore arrived perfectly on time - at 1650hrs - so I expected my bus also to reach on time. The time ticked past 1700hrs - but there was no sign of my bus. In the meantime, it started raining - began as a benign drizzle and soon grew up into fairly heavy rain. The bus station has a very short canopy - and it was already crowded. As the rain strengthened, more people jostled for space inside - and the wind added to the mis…

Bangalore to Chitradurga: KSRTC Airavat!

I did not think much before I booked a ticket for this one. This was again an exam duty, and I had been to the same college last year for an examination. I had taken an NWKRTC Express bus last time (read here). Although the journey in itself was comfortable, the thought of waking up early in the morning and then traveling this distance in a 2*3 seater bus made me averse. The first premium bus for the day is this 0655BNGDVG schedule operated by Davanagere-1 depot of KSRTC. Without much thoughts, I just went ahead and booked a ticket on this one - I purposefully avoided booking the first row since I wanted to sleep a bit, and I wouldn't sleep if I sat in the first row.

June 08, 2016:
Although the bus leaves only at 0655, I targeted to reach the bus station by around 0630, atleast. After my last experience with Uber, I decided to stick to the desi option of Ola instead. I got an Ola perfectly on time, and I got to the bus station before 0630hrs - perfectly what I wanted. I did some b…

On the Niner Whiskey ATR72: Mangalore to Bangalore

I was fully confused about hte return journey from Mangalore. I had exam duty the next day at College as well, and had to be back in Bangalore early in the morning. None of the buses seem to fit to my definition of "early" arrival. After a lot of thinking around, I booked a ticket on the last flight out of Mangalore - the one operated by Jet Airways. The ticket was delivered to my mail box in no time.

June 06, 2016:
I had just arrived from Bangalore and was trying to catch up some sleep at the hotel room. An email from Jet Airways reminded me about web check-in. I did web check-in through the mobile website of Jet Airways - a seamless experience - far less confusing than I had on another airline's mobile app. The boarding pass was delivered to my mail box soon later. I was quite happy and excited about bagging Sequence #1 again, and the first time on Jet Airways. I selected a seat at the back (#17F) as well.

I arrived at the hotel sometime around 1730 after exam duty. I …

Bangalore to Mangalore on Durgamba Volvo B9R!

This was the first examination duty to get confirmed. Although this got confirmed long  time back. I hadn't reserved any tickets - that was because, I was really confused what bus to take. I wanted to try AC Sleepers - but their reviews on RedBus weren't very good. I was confused, since I didn't want to invite trouble. After a lot of thinking, I finally chose Durgamba - both my previous trips with them were good. I booked on their first bus, with a pick-up point at Madiwala.

June 05, 2016:
During exams, Sundays are just normal working days. I had exam work on Sunday, and ended up being in office till evening. I hurried home from office and sat down doing some work on my computer, unaware that I was getting late. It was already 2000hrs, by the time I got ready. The pick-up time at Madiwala was 2055hrs, and I had no possibility of reaching there on time. I hurried with my dinner and booked a cab. The cab was completing its previous trip, and took about 10 minutes to arrive. …

Davanagere to Bangalore: KSRTC Airavat!

I wanted an AC bus to return from Davanagere after exam work. I checked up for private operators, but none of them matched the timings I wanted. I checked up the KSRTC website, and found there was a bus leaving to Bangalore at 1730hrs. Without a second thought, I booked on this bus, and selected a seat towards the middle of the bus.

June 04, 2016:
I was getting late. I had more students for the exams than I had expected and it was taking more time to finish. I had already received a message from KSRTC with details of the bus. After a bit of speeding up, I somehow completed the examination by 1705hrs. The associated paper work took up more time, and I left the exam centre sometime around 1715~1720hrs. I had hardly 10 minutes to spare for the bus, and the bus station was about 7 kms away from the college. My junior in college and the internal examiner for this examination, took out his bike and we rushed to the bus station. Some traffic signals on the way, and some roads under repair me…

On the Jan Shatabdi to Davangere..

Exam duties are an opportunity for us teachers to travel - and the travel freak in me wouldn't let go of those opportunities. Out of the three duties I had this, one was to Davanagere. Davanagere is a little over 260kms from Bangalore - a decent 5 hour ride by road. I also had another option in the form of a Jan Shatabdi Express. Its been a really long time since I made a train journey, and I thought this was my opportunity. Although this train would be a little late for my purpose, I made arrangements to begin the exam before I reach there and booked a ticket on Jan Shatabdi. The AC Chair Car seat turned out to be expensive than an airconditioned bus, which takes more or less the same running time as well.

June 04, 2016:
I had a very very early start to my day. The train leaves at 0600hrs, and I wanted to leave home before 5am, to arrive comfortably on time at the railway station. I fired up mobile apps of two cab aggregators (App Taxis as they are called). Cabs weren't avail…