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Showing posts from 2019

Bengaluru to Chennai: TranZking AC Sleeper

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I was undecided about this journey. I had to reach Chennai on November 1st - I was a little confused if I must reach there the previous night, or take an overnight bus, or take the early morning bus from Bengaluru. The first option was among my foremost choices - for the fact that I could sleep well overnight and appear fresh for the program that I had to attend. I searched over for options for a late afternoon or an early evening departure - a long weekend coming up meant high fares and poor availability in highly rated operators. I stumbled upon a vacant single lower berth on TranZking a day before the journey - a completely by chance finding, and I guess this turned vacant by somebody's cancellation.

October 31, 2019:
After a busy day at work, including an hour of theory lecture and a lot of running around for some administrative work, I walked out of office a little past noon for an early lunch at a restaurant nearby. I booked a cab as I finished my lunch - he took a while to …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: Airavat Club Class Volvo B9R

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Like everytime, I hadn't looked at other options for this journey either. I booked the ticket soon after reservations had opened - being right after Diwali, I was fairly sure about seats selling fast, and other options getting insanely expensive. 
October 29, 2019: It was really difficult to leave home - my kiddo was sleeping, deep asleep as I left home. I took a local bus to Palakkad. I got to the KSRTC bus station in Palakkad by around 2100hrs. My bus hadn't been brought to the platform yet. I was a little hungry - headed straight to a restaurant near the entry to the bus station - my bus was parked there. The crew were having their dinner at the same restaurant. I finished mine quickly and headed to the bus station - the bus was brought to the platform by then - a message containing the bus and crew details also came in by then. 
I was quite tired and sleepy - boarded the bus soon later. They hadn't turned on the airconditioner yet - it was stuffy inside the bus. They t…

Bengaluru to Thrissur: Kerala SRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R

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Diwali Weekend. I was sure the rush would be the highest. I decided to play it safe and book my ticket the day the reservation opened - I missed the opening day narrowly, and remembered it only the next morning. I booked on the Kerala RTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R service to Ernakulam - the best among the Kerala RTC services that operate out of Bangalore towards Central and South Kerala. I had looked at the options from Karnataka RTC as well before I did this booking - the reason for this booking was that the Kerala bus generally reaches quite early in the morning - and I had to be at my home quite early in the morning to attend a wedding later in the day.

Circumstances changed as the day for journey came closer - roads turned pathetic in Kerala following torrential rains, long traffic snarls at the infamous Kuthiran pass became the order of the day. I did not want to be too late for the wedding, and searched for alternatives. Trains were my call - but all of them had long waiting …

Coimbatore to Bengaluru: Dwaraka Travels BharatBenz GliderZ

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This was an interesting booking. I was originally booked to take a bus from Palakkad at night of October 08, 2019. In the run up to the travel, a lot of things happened, and I grew a little apprehensive of taking a night bus, since I had to be in office on time the next morning. Peak day night travels are quite risky and the odds of a delay are quite high. To add to my misery, the service that I had to travel in saw a lot of cancellations as well. As the date for my travel came closer, I took the decision to book on a day service instead - redbus threw up some interesting options, two of which were on my to-try list. Among them, I chose Dwaraka tours and travels, who operate a pair of MG built GliderZ AC Sleeper coaches on the Coimbatore-Bengaluru route. They operate day buses only during peak days, though.

October 08, 2019:
It was a very heavy feeling as I got ready to begin my day long journey to Bengaluru - I had estimated a 14 hours journey door-to-door (including all waiting time…

Yeshwantpur to Palakkad by Kannur Express train

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This ticket was booked long ago - 4 months ago, on the day the reservation for this train was opened! It rarely happens that my preplanned journeys happen - this was one exception where it really happened. I selected the Yeshwantpur Kannur express for two reasons - one, ticket availability is comparatively easier compared to Kanyakumari exp. ress (which is the closest competitor, in terms of convenient timings); and, second, its convenient to board the train from Yeshwantpur as compared to boarding from KSR Bengaluru (in case of Kanyakumari express). Since I was booking on the day the reservations opened, I could manage to get the seat, rather, berth, of my choice!

October 01, 2019:
It was a long day at work - happens everytime I travel, and this day was no different. I still managed to leave office within 'acceptable' time. I needed to get to the station by 1930hrs - the train was to depart at 2000hrs. I had kept my bag ready earlier, and this helped leaving my home earlier. …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class

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This was a ticket booked at a very short notice - my favorite options from Karnataka SRTC was already sold out, and the special buses operated by them were being sold at astronomical rates (rate compared to the distance). I found some seats in buses operated by Kerala RTC, and decided to pick one in the Ernakulam-Bengaluru service (My favorite among the buses operated by Kerala RTC). I managed to get a window seat in the 'last-but-one' row.

September 29, 2019:
It was really difficult to leave my little one behind - I hadn't had enough of holding my little princess and it was already time to return to Bengaluru. A driver was arranged to drop me at the bus station, instead of my usual habit of taking the bus to Palakkad. I started from home a little past 2115hrs - although the bus is scheduled to depart from Palakkad at 2200hrs, it usually reaches there only past 2230hrs. The driver took it slow, and we slowly progressed towards Palakkad. We got stuck at a railway crossing n…

Bengaluru to Coimbatore: Kavi Logistics AC Sleeper

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This was the reason for confusion - I had to be in Palakkad on Sunday (September 29, 2019) to attend a certification examination, which was really important in my career. But then, my leave was ending on Friday, and I had to return to Bengaluru - only to travel back the same evening. My stay in Palakkad on Sunday would be really short again, as I would return the same night!
While hunting for options to travel from Bangalore to Coimbatore (the options for Palakkad were quite expensive), I stumbled upon this operator, called Kavi Logistics. They are a reputed brand when it comes to non-ac sleeper service, and they had started this AC sleeper service just a week or so prior to my journey. Without a doubt, I decided to try this new operator - although the operator had a site of their own, bookings were possible only through redbus. I managed to pocket some discounts, including some for using a particular payment gateway. 
September 28, 2019: I was really tired and sleepy through the day …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda Maharaja Scania

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I was completely undecided about my return journey. I had leave only until Friday - I was confused if I should take a leave for another day and stay back until Sunday. There were some technical issues about staying back on Saturday - and I had to return to work. I finally decide to bite the bullet, and decide to travel back to Bangalore on Friday evening.

September 27, 2019:
My brother-in-law and his family were also returning to Bengaluru that morning. I decided to join them and booked on the same bus as theirs - the 1345 Trivandrum - Bengaluru Garuda Maharaja Scania service. This service showed a 2115hrs departure from Palakkad - the timing seemed impossible, since the bus needs to travel all the way from Trivandrum to Palakkad, through the ever busy MC Road in 7h30m to do that feat - which is almost impossible.

I received a message with the bus and crew details a little post 1300hrs. I called up the crew a little past 1900hrs to find their whereabouts in order to confirm our drop t…

Bengaluru to Palakkad: 16316 Bengaluru-Kochuveli Express

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Although this trip was decided about a week in advance, I hadn't booked any tickets until about 2 days before the trip. I was initially planning to take a post noon bus -  I wanted to be at TW's place early in the morning. I was confused about what bus to take, and kept procrastinating my booking. I decided to look at trains for some reason - and I was quite excited to see a train (16315 SBC Kochuveli Express) with tickets at waitlist #12. I procrastinated further - I finally booked a ticket through the IRCTC website later in the evening, two days before the journey. My ticket was at waiting list #10 now! I briefly considered booking a tatkal ticket - it was available even until late evening on the day before my journey. I decided to take the risk and wait to see if my ticket confirms!

September 21, 2019:
I had left home with a huge backpack - my plan was to head to the station in the evening after office; provided the ticket confirms, that is! I received a message from IRCTC …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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I have nothing to say - I didn't even look at options. I headed straight to the KSRTC website as the date of my journey was confirmed, booked a window seat on my favorite service - 2130PGTBNG. The KSRTC website allows payments using UPI, which is a very big convenience!

September 16, 2019:
It was one tempestuous day - we ended up missing our lunch that day, and had to do with whatever we could manage. The long day winded up with light dinner, and I got into an autorickshaw to get to the bus stop. I got a bus soon later, and got to Palakkad by around 2040hrs. I was at the KSRTC bus station by around 2050hrs - much earlier than the departure time of my bus. My first attempt was to search for my bus - I couldn't find any Airavat Club Class bus parked at the normal parking area - I was a little confused about this. I returned to the bus station, and found one Airavat Club Class Scania bus parked behind a few KSRTC buses. There were no specials from Palakkad on this day - so this h…

Bengaluru to Coimbatore: BSP Travels

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My quest to try new operators adds to my confusion everytime I have to book a ticket. I was at a tie between two operators while I was searching for tickets from Bengaluru to Coimbatore this time as well - after a lot of 'research' and discussions on a WhatsApp group, I picked BSP travels. Like most of the new operators in the route, this bus also had a long pick-up ride in the city - I opted to board at Kalasipalya, which was the closest to my home.

September 14, 2019:
I have been having terribly tiring days, and this day was no different. I reached back home quite late from office and was tied up with some other official work. I had planned to have food from a nearby restaurant before setting out - but the lack of time made me look at alternatives. I decided to get a take-away instead. I packed in my food, and took a train to the metro station, from where the metro train ferried me to Kalasipalya.

The operator did not have an office in Kalasipalya - the boarding point was on…

Chennai to Bengaluru: RKK Travels

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September 13, 2019:
I had set a target of returning to Bengaluru before its too late in the night - It was already past 1400hrs, and I still hadn't taken my lunch. The MTC bus I had gotten into from Porur slowly rolled into CMBT, at Koyambedu, Chennai. I looked around searching for a restaurant to have my lunch - I finally headed to Sangeetha's for lunch. As I waited for my lunch to be served, I logged into various booking websites to find a bus for my return to Bengaluru. I wanted a sleeper bus - but none of them had lower berths available, and even those that had, it was all double berths. I finally decided to take a seater bus instead - I decided to pick a new operator this time, and chose RKK Travels for this journey.

RKK Travels comes from a very humble background - reportedly started by a Volvo bus driver, this operator has plenty of options on the Chennai-Bengaluru route - and all of them were Volvos! They've been adding new buses off late - they picked up a lot of …