Mangaluru to Bengaluru on Airavat Diamond Class

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! More than half the buses lined up at the platforms near the entry were to Bengaluru - there were Airavats, AC Sleepers, Rajahamsas and my Airavat Diamond Class. I had already received SMS with crew and bus details. The bus seemed to be full, and the conductor was busy calling up reserved passengers, confirming that they would be traveling, and so on. There were a lot of seat seekers as well.
The bus, as we prepared to depart..

I got my ticket checked, and headed to my seat. I was a little tired, and wanted some rest. The AC was already running. We got moving at 2128hrs - a minute before time. All reserved passengers were already on board, and we didn't have to wait for scheduled time. While we were pulling out, an Airavat Diamond Class heading to Bangalore airport pulled in. Interestingly, the same crew who had worked the bus on my Bangalore-Mangalore journey were working this bus! We had a pick-up from Jyothi Circle (2138hrs), then a Kankanadi (2148hrs). Once past Kankanadi, the driver let the beast a lil' loose and we picked pace. One more pick-up at Bantwal (2210hrs), and we were full. I was sleepy and tired by now, and got set to sleep.

The bus, although fast, was not very fast. I could feel it was being driven in manual mode, and the driver maintained bus at very low rpms (allegedly to extract more mileage), and the vibrations from the engine were very apparent. This is a characteristic of all Karnataka SRTC premium services. As we lugged our way forward, sleep got the better of me, and I slept. It was raining through the night, and it did leave me a little worried. Every time I woke up, I could hear rain lashing the window glasses. I vaguely remember the bus stopping at Hassan - the crew had announced a break then. I was too tired to get up, or even realise what time it was.
The same bus, captured a few days before my journey.. 

I woke up hearing the crew calling our for passengers getting off at 8th mile (0433hrs) - we were clearly well before time! The next stop was at Yeshwantpur Railway Station (0442hrs) followed by Navrang Talkies (for Rajaji Nagar) - at 0447hrs. I pulled up the backrest and got set to alight. I was a little confused if I must carry on in the bus to Shantinagar, or get off at Majestic itself. In the meantime, the bus headed towards Okalipuram, and entered the BMTC side of Kempegowda bus station and parked somewhere near the airport buses platform, at 0456hrs - a good 35 minutes before time! The crew announced this is the last stop and walked out of the bus. I enquired if they would go to Shantinagar - they confirmed they would, but it would take a little time. Meanwhile, I searched for cabs and managed to get one. I was home well before 0530, which was the scheduled arrival time of the bus!

Closing notes: The bus, KA-57-F-1826, homed at Mangaluru-2 depot had clocked a little over 36700kms, and appeared fairly well kept. The crew were great - this was my second trip with them, and they were amazing. The driving was amazing - absolutely 'safe', excellent punctuality and the sense of time-keeping was outstanding. Crew from the coastal belt are a different breed, who really understand the importance of punctuality, and what it means to the passenger. They are a rare breed who can balance between punctuality and the demands for good mileage. 

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: Yes
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Available, Worked.
Entertainment: Available, Not used.

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5 (We were before time!)

Overall: 5/5

Pros: Punctual, Great driving
Cons: Couldn't really find one.

Will I take this service again? Absolutely! Why not?

Comments

rahulvijayev said…
Nice report. The ending remark about coastal drivers is pin point. They have to be punctual to match with their private counter parts. I have travelled 6-7 times in Durgamba and they have always sticked to the timings except on one occassion where there was a disruption of traffic in the ghats.
Binai K Sankar said…
If you noticed, my comment was about "all" drivers of the coastal belt - not about KSRTC alone. I have not seen this kind of dedication to time among other drivers.

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