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Showing posts from 2017

Trivandrum to Ernakulam: by KSRTC's Garuda Maharaja

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I hadn't realised that I was stuck in Trivandrum, until I saw the crowd at the bus station! I hadn't really realised that I was traveling a day before a long long weekend - a Second Saturday, Sunday, followed by Kerala's "national" festival aka Hartal on Monday, an opportunity to 'fall sick' on Tuesday and Diwali holiday on Wednesday! Essentially a five day, extended weekend! Buses were sold out, while the unreserved ones had people ready to pounce the moment the door opened! I had no option but to stay over that night, and try my luck with early morning buses. Intuitively, I headed to the reservation website and found that the Scania bus to Coimbatore, leaving Trivandrum at 0400hrs, had 7 seats available - the last two rows! I grabbed one of them quickly - seat #41 was chosen.

October 14, 2017:
My phone woke me up at an unearthly 0245hrs! I remained groggy for a while, before darting out of my bed and getting ready. I checked out of the hotel at 0315hrs,…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R - a repeat!

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Call it coincidence, call it a repeat - I was all set to head home for a vacation, and I booked on the Bangalore-Ernakulam Volvo service of Kerala RTC once again! And like the last time, it was convenience that weighed over anything else. I had to delay my booking until the last minute, since I was really not sure if I'd be able to travel. My journey was confirmed only by around 1700hrs - I logged on to the website to see most forward half seats occupied. I quickly selected one in the rear half - #29 it was.

October 09, 2017:
Since it was vacation time, my colleague was also traveling to the bus station. So we decided to share a cab - the Ola cab came in about 5 minutes from booking - the guy got us to the satellite bus station in Peenya by about 1755hrs. While I was in the cab, I received a call from the bus conductor to confirm if I was boarding from Peenya itself - this was important since Peenya happens to be the default boarding point, and a lot of passengers forget to change…

Bangalore to Thrissur: Garuda King Class Volvo of KSRTC

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This was a pre-vacation trip home. I hadn't planned this trip, until a few weeks before I actually travelled. I was to return from home with my brother - and hence, I only had to take care of one way reservations. My travel was coinciding with a four day long weekend in Bengaluru - which means, every migrant in the city travels out. I decided to leave a few days earlier, using the compensatory offs I had accumulated at work. Leaving a couple of days earlier meant I was traveling on a weekday, and I had plenty of options to choose from. A slightly expensive but convenient Kerala State RTC Volvo or a cheaper Karnataka State RTC Scania! I chose the former since it starts from a bus station very close to my residence, and I am saved of all the inconvenience of having to travel to Shantinagar. 
September 26, 2017: After a tiring day at work, I hurried with my dinner - at 5pm! I hired an ola cab a little past 1715hrs, and rushed to Basaveshwara Bus Station - the satellite bus station lo…

Thrissur to Bengaluru on Airavat Diamond Class

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Getting a ticket to return from Kerala on weekends is not a joke - the fact that it was also during Onam celebrations compounded my miseries. Onam was on Monday, and I initially planned to return on Monday night - but there were no tickets. I checked for tickets from Coimbatore, which also seemed sold out. It dawned on me later that I would be travelling with lots of baggage, and there was no way I could do a split journey. I had to travel through in a single bus - then began the hunt for buses from Thrissur. I decided to travel a day earlier (which turned out to be a good decision) - and checked for tickets for Sunday night. Although this meant I had to spend the festive day at work, getting an affordable ticket was more important to me. 
I quickly checked Kerala RTC, which was sold out. My next stop was Karnataka RTC, which luckily had a couple of seats vacant for the 2133hrs Thrissur-Bangalore Airavat Diamond Class. And one of those empty seats was a window! I grabbed it without m…

Bangalore to Thrissur: On a Holiday special train!

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An innocuous message on our colleagues WhatsApp group informed me about a one-off special train on September 01, 2017 from Yeswantpur to Kochuveli. I had no intentions to go home for Onam till this message popped up - in fact, I had planned to spend the weekend with my colleagues. I had just shifted my home to a location closer to office, and I had my colleagues and students all around. The lure of traveling home for Onam was much stronger - I fired the IRCTC Connect App, and it showed that the special train had some 13 seats more in Three tier AC. I made a split second decision and grabbed one seat in 3A - I got one Side Upper Berth. Then began the hunt for the return ticket - more on that later!

A little later my colleague informed she was in S18 - "Sleeper Coach 18?", was the first question in my mind. The answer for my question came the next morning - as I spotted a special rake with 19 sleeper coaches, 2 AC 3-Tier coaches and 2 Luggage-cum-brake vans in the consist. I …

Kozhikode to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

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July 25, 2017: 
This was a journey that was booked at the last moment. I had to rush home for an emergency - I took a flight to go home (a ticket booked for a cheap price, at the last minute - I decided to enjoy that flight, and did not make note of the timeline at all). After my work at my home down was over, I headed out to Kodungallur town. A new bus service was being launched from my hometown to the temple town of Kollur (Mookambika) in Karnataka. I decided to attend the program - which went on till evening. I also decided to make a journey on the first trip - I was to travel to Kozhikode. Being the inaugural trip, the service was delayed, and I did not want to risk reserving my tickets to travel from Kozhikode to Bengaluru.

It was really hot out there, plus I was exhausted from the long hot day. I dozed off for a while, but the heat wasn't helping matters. I am not a fan of non-ac buses (especially for long rides) and the heat made things really bad for me. To add to my miser…

Kochi to Bengaluru on RedKnite's VT-CCU

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Whats up with the title, eh? RedKnite is the call sign of AirAsia India!

This flight was part of my (rather, our) return from Trivandrum. We had to book a flight from Kochi, instead of Trivandrum since flights out of TRV were very expensive (more than twice the rates out of Kochi). We hadn't opted for onboard meals, and hadn't web checked in either - since AirAsia has the habit of charging for seat selection even during check-in - very counter productive when it comes to the penny wise (pound foolish, as well) Indian public!

July 09, 2017:
We had traveled from Trivandrum to Ernakulam by train (Jan Shatabdi Express - read about that here), and then headed for a sumptuous breakfast at Hotel Dwaraka. Dwaraka is an old property, and has a fairly good vegetarian restaurant - that serves delicious dosas! After the breakfast, we hired an Ola to head to the airport - the 37 kilometre ride to the airport from MG road took a little over an hour. We reached the airport a little past 1210…

Trivandrum to Ernakulam: Jan Shatabdi Express

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Our return trip from Trivandrum to Bangalore was very interesting. Direct modes of transport were unviable. We were not very confident of being able to return in the evening from Trivandrum - so we had to return on Sunday. But then, we wanted to be back in Bangalore by Sunday evening - we checked flights, which were too expensive. I quickly checked for tickets from Kochi - and, bingo! The afternoon flight from Kochi had lots of tickets, and they weren't expensive either! Tickets for the flight were booked first. Then began the hunt for tickets to travel to Kochi from Trivandrum. We decided to take the Jan Shatabdi Express from Trivandrum in the morning.

July 09, 2017:
With the train set to depart at 0600hrs, we had to leave our hotel by around 0530hrs. We were not sure if it would be possible to get transportation to the railway station that early in the morning on a Sunday. We managed to get an auto - and the driver agreed to ferry all the five of us in his vehicle. It was exciti…

Bangalore to Trivandrum: Orange AC Sleeper

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An urgent need to travel to Trivandrum came out of the blue. The trip was decided with just a few days to go, and the travel was on a Friday from Bengaluru! Since my brother and his family was traveling along, we had to travel by a Sleeper bus. It had to be an AC bus as well. A quick search on Redbus revealed a lot of options to pick from. We went by the ratings on redbus, and some enquiries through my friend network. I finally selected Orange Travels. Tickets weren't very cheap, and they were fairly expensive after the taxes were added.

July 07, 2017:
I reached home around 1700hrs, after a fairly tiring day at work. I had been receiving messages from Orange Travels with details of my bus from morning. We had to leave home by around 1830hrs in order to finish our dinner, and then board the bus that departs at 2015hrs. After hurrying with packing, we set off in an Uber towards Madiwala. The first task to finish our dinner - we picked Swaadam Veg Restaurant for dinner - delicious La…

Raichur to Bengaluru: On Nanded-Bengaluru Express!

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I did not look 'beyond' trains for my return journey from Raichur after my exam work. I was a little confused about which train to take - the next day was 'originally' a holiday, but it turned a working day a few days later. I looked at the train options available, and finally picked up a train leaving early from Raichur and getting to Bangalore before 0600hrs. The train I picked was Nanded-Bengaluru Express. The train, peculiarly, did not have a two-tier AC coach. The options available was only three-tier AC, and First AC. I booked a three tier AC ticket, and ended up with a middle berth.

June 16, 2017:
After a tiring day officiating the exam, I headed out to the railway station sometime around 1730hrs for my train departing at 1905hrs. I was terribly hungry, and my first agenda on reaching the railway station was to get something to eat. I couldn't find any eateries at first and walked around for a while. After a little bit of searching, I found one small eatery …

Bangalore to Raichur: KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

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This year's examination duty was taking me to two new places - Bellary and Raichur. I had traveled to Bellary and back by train (the journey was eventless, and may be I'd write about them later). I was a little excited about my journey to Raichur - I had heard a lot about the college I'd be visiting. While the easiest option to reach Raichur was taking a train, I badly wanted to try the bus. Private operators offered only non-ac options, which I generally avoid. The only AC service on the route happened to be from KSRTC, which operated an Airavat Diamond Class service. I booked a ticket without much thought. I opted to take the train for my return (more on that, maybe, later).

June 15, 2017:
I had returned late from office, and had not much time to get ready. I had to hurry about packing my bag and get going. Like it always happens, I ended up getting a cab very late - not that the cab got delayed, there was a lot of traffic en route, and I reached Shantinagar only a coupl…

Mangaluru to Bengaluru on Airavat Diamond Class

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I had originally planned to spend a day in Mangalore, and travel back on Sunday night. Since I had to travel on Sunday night, I had to be quick about booking my ticket. I had been traveling with private operators on all my trips to Mangalore, and I wanted to try KSRTC this time. While searching for buses for Sunday night, I saw a few Airavat Diamond Class services listed. I searched the operating depot of each service, and found that one particular service was operated by Mangalore-2 depot. I was very particular about not traveling in buses operated by any of the Bangalore depots. I opted for that Mangalore-2 operated ADC, and booked a window seat around the middle of the coach.

June 11, 2017:
After a yummy dinner comprising of Tuppa Dose and Poori Subji washed down with Coffee at Mangalore's own Taj Mahal Cafe, I headed out to the KSRTC bus station in Bejai with Yeshwant Kadri. It was raining, and I rushed to the bus station. The bus station was crowded - all thanks to Sunday! Mo…

Bengaluru to Mangaluru on KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class

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As the examination season of 2017 commenced, another season of travel dawned on me. Like every year, I got an examination duty at Mangalore, this year as well. I've been traveling on overnight buses the last two years, and I badly wanted to travel over the day. The examination was originally scheduled for a Saturday, and I had the option of traveling overnight on Saturday night, or taking the day bus on Sunday, or may be hold on for a day and travel back only on Sunday night. I opted to travel back on Sunday night and spend the day in Mangalore. As the date for my exam came closer, I was updated that the examination would be on Sunday, and not Saturday. Since I had already applied for leave and had arranged to be away on Saturday, I opted to take a day bus to Mangalore on Saturday - I wanted to do this since quite long. I ended up having a ticket towards the rear, though.

June 10, 2017:
With my bus departing at 0700hrs, I had to leave home quite early. I opted to leave home by 055…