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. While waiting for my cab, I called up the crew of my bus (the number was sent as an SMS at around 2000hrs) and enquired their whereabouts. They were nearing my pick-up point. I informed them that I cannot make it on time, and told them that I'd join the bus at their Swathi pick-up point (near Majestic). The person who attended the call noted down my seat number and confirmed the new pick-up point and time.

The cab came soon and he took to the roads. He wasn't clear of my destination and used the navigation instead. As we were nearing my destination, he got another booking - I got off the car a little before my destination, so that he could get to his next pick-up without too much of a delay. I walked down to the Durgamba office and waited outside for my bus. The office was very busy with buses continuously arriving and departing - all buses recorded their time, and loaded parcels before leaving. My bus, KA-20-C-3282, arrived sometime around 2222hrs - a few minutes behind schedule. Boarding was quick - they took a quick headcount and we started off at 2235hrs. They did not check individual tickets, but just counted the number of passengers - that is a dangerous way of checking in my opinion.
The bus, when it came at the pick-up point...
The bus headed straight towards Rajajinagar through the Chord road. We reached Rajajinagar by 2249hrs. Interestingly, the bus was quite full - same like the last time, even for a Sunday departure from Bangalore! Our last pick-up point was Govardhan (Yeshwantpur railway station) - we left from there at 2257hrs. The bus took the elevated highway after that. The bus seemed quite well maintained - there weren't too many rattles. A feeble rattle from the rear suspension gave some background score to the growl from the 9-litre beast sitting at the back. The AC was set at a very comfortable temperature, and the appropriately sized Blanket set the perfect environment to sleep. The calf-rest wasn't operating properly - the control lever was dislocated and I had to play around a bit to set it right. I remember the bus turning off towards Kunigal from Nelamangala - had a straight continuous sleep afterwards.

Even the ghats did not wake me up. I woke up just as the attendant was shouting out Kankanadi Kankanadi at the top of his voice - the time was around 0445 or so. We were already in Mangalore, and I slept really well through the journey. The bus stopped briefly outside the Durgamba main office to unload parcels - I was dropped at PVS circle, a little ahead from the Durgamba office, at 0500hrs. I took an auto to the hotel where my accomodation was arranged by the examination centre.

The bus, KA-20-C-3282, had clocked about 8.04 lakh kilometres - but the upkeep meant the bus look young. There were no mechanical troubles with the bus - it was in great shape (except the feeble rattle, and the calfrest adjustment lever issue). The driving was great - controlled aggression, absolutely no honking or harsh driving. I really liked Durgamba services - absolutely no nonsense, but delivers perfect service at promised times! The 360-something kilometre journey took a little over 6 hours to complete - that perfect timings, IMO.

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: No
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Yes
Entertainment: Available - Not used

Ratings:
Maintenance: 4.85/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5

Overall: 4.95/5 [Value for money]

Will I take this service again? Durgamba is already my favorite operator on this route :)

Comments

rahulvijayev said…
Nice report Binaieta. Does their Airport Volvo also come to Swati office for picking up passengers? I have travelled a couple of time in the Volvo which starts from Narayana Hrudayalaya and the punctuality was very good. Once I travelled from Kollur to Bangalore in their Sleeper via Shimoga and the puntuality and comnfort was extremely awesome (sparing the rock and roll on the Kollur-Shimoga ghat road). I frequently observe their Volvos in the Volvo service centre near Jigani and I believe that they take care of their Volvos nicely.
Binai K Sankar said…
All their buses come to swathi.

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