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Showing posts from July, 2019

Mangalore to Bengaluru: Durgamba AC Sleeper (Service 30)

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After booking a sleeper bus for the outbound, I was busy looking for return travel options from Mangalore to Bengaluru. I though of trying a sleeper bus again - timings and fare were the decisive factors this time. I wanted a bus that arrived Bangalore around day break - a very early arrival would make travel home a little cumbersome. Based on these, I zeroed in on Durgamba Travels - a late night departure from Mangalore, and an arrival around 0600hrs in Bengaluru - perfectly fit in to my requirements.

July 01, 2019:
I had a lot of time that evening - I checked out of my room sometime around 2030hrs and headed straight to the restaurant in the hotel. I took my time to have my dinner, and then spent some time waiting in the hotel lobby. I was tracking my bus continuously using the tracking link that I had received. I remained in the hotel until the bus passed Surathkal. The pick-up point was about a kilometre away - I hired an auto to get there. The auto driver left me outside the pick…

Thrissur to Mangalore: KSRTC Airavat Club Class, again!

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Booking the KSRTC Airavat Club Class was a no-nonsense decision - the timings and fares were the decisive factors. I wanted to try one of the private operators - but put off that plan looking at their fares and stuck to my original plan of booking the Airavat Club Class itself. The ACC had perfect timings for me - both at Thrissur and at Mangalore.

June 30, 2019:
It was a busy day at home - we had a family function at home, and TW was leaving to her home later that afternoon. It was a sentimentally charged day - and quite physically tiring as well. I left home around 2000hrs - my bus departs from Thrissur at 2240hrs. The last bus from my bus was at 2030hrs, from what I knew. I had traveled by that bus a few years ago. I was not sure if it still ran, though. My brother dropped me there at around 2020hrs - an ordinary bus to Thrissur was departing at that time. I decided to take the risk and waiting to see if another bus turns up. In the meantime, another passenger joins me - the number…

Mangalore to Thrissur: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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I had timed my Examination duties in Mangalore around a family function happening at home. I had to head home from Mangalore - trains were not an option due to ticket availability. I decided to take the bus - I weighed between Kerala and Karnataka RTCs and picked Kerala RTC for the outbound and Karnataka for the return. I had avoided private buses for two reasons - high fares and timings. Kerala RTC options were a little iffy - I picked a Scania bus that departs at 1800hrs, since I had to return from exam work, and the earlier departure would be took close for comfort.

June 29, 2019:
I slept soon after I reached the hotel room - the tiredness from the sleepless travel the previous night had drained me completely. I slept for a couple of hours before getting ready and heading down to the restaurant for breakfast. A mail that I received during breakfast made me a little concerned - the subject read, "Service Cancelled by Org".  I saw this when I opened the email:

Service cancel…

Bengaluru to Mangaluru: Sri Durgamba AC Sleeper

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Mangalore is always a favorite place for me. I was quite confused about what bus to take when traveling to Mangalore - I had briefly romanced the idea of taking the train, but junked the idea like every time! I thought of trying a Sleeper bus this time around - a colleague of mine was also traveling with me to Mangalore, also for examination work. We decided to pick a sleeper bus this time - I hadn't realised till quite late that we were traveling on a Friday evening! After a bit of 'research', I decided to book on Sri Durgamba travels (Service #3). This would be my first with this operator - more than that, this would also be my first experience in a Damodar built sleeper coach! Another reason to pick Sri Durgamba was that this was on the only bus with single lower berths still available.

June 28, 2019:
My bus had a very late pick-up - at 2300hrs, from Yeshwantpur. I had my dinner from a hotel near home, and then headed towards Yeshwantpur - by Metro, as usual. The entire…

Kalaburagi to Bengaluru by the ubiquitous 'Solapur' Express

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I didn't look at a lot of options when I booked this ticket. I had to be Bengaluru early, since I had to officiate an examination in campus that day. This requirement ruled out buses - since most of them had scheduled arrivals only around 0800hrs. The only train that made sense among all the options was the popular 'Solapur' Express - now called the Solapur-Hassan Express, this train is very popular among passengers on this route. Getting tickets on this train is always a premium - this day was no different either. I got a waitlisted ticket in AC 3-Tier. The waitlist did not move for quite a few days after booking - but it moved straight to confirmed a few days before the journey.

June 27, 2019:
I always find it difficult to find a good place to eat during my visits to Gulbarga - may be I search it the wrong way, but I hardly get a good restaurant. This time around, Google listed me more options, and I picked one restaurant that served good North Karnataka styled food - th…

Bengaluru to Kalaburagi: On the VRL B9R yet again!

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Yet another exam season, yet another reason to travel to Gulbarga (Kalaburagi). I was traveling in the middle of the week and assumed that I didn't have to worry about tickets. I found the contrary when I headed to the railway reservation website, though - confirmed tickets weren't available in either directions. I finally decided to book a train for my return journey since I had to be in Bengaluru on time, and couldn't find a bus with reliable arrival timings. I picked up Vijayanand (VRL) for the outbound - for obvious reasons that this was the sole seater service on the route.

June 26, 2019:
It was a lazy day at work. I was back home well on time, and had finished packing my things quite early. I set off towards Yeshwantpur using my favorite mode of transportation - a combination of BMTC bus and Namma Metro. I headed straight to Hallimane for light dinner, then headed to the VRL pick-up point. Quite unusually, I managed to find a seat at their waiting area, and remained …

Chitradurga to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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As I noted in my earlier post on the outbound journey, picking up KSRTC was a no-brainer for this short journey. I wanted a bus that departed after 1700hrs, and one that gets me to Bengaluru before 2200hrs - this was the 'if' and 'but' clauses I had set. I wanted to travel by a Volvo B7R (they are counting their last days in KSRTC) - but there weren't any in the time band that I wanted to travel in. There were four Airavat Club Classes in the time band that I wanted to travel in - at 1700, 1705, 1730 and 1815hrs - I opted for the one departing at 1730hrs, for the reason that this was operated by Shivamogga depot, and I hadn't traveled in their buses yet.

June 25, 2019:
I had completed my examination work by 1600hrs - I delayed the final paperwork a little bit so that I get to the bus station only by 1630~1645hrs. I got to the bus station a little before 1700hrs. Chitradurga bus station is a small place - with place for about 10 buses to park at any point of tim…

Bengaluru to Chitradurga: KSRTC Volvo B11R

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June is always a great month for the travel lover in me - its the annual examination season. This year had a lot of travels for me on the block. The first among them was a short one to Chitradurga - a short one is always a good primer! Booking tickets for the ride to Chitradurga was a no-brainer - KSRTC was the best (and only, if I may) option for the route. I picked KSRTC for both ways.

June 25, 2019:
I had planned to leave home a little earlier than required, and also to board the bus from Majestic, instead of the much nearer Yeshwantpur. I got up a little late, and I left home a little later than I had planned. The trusted Uber driver took me to Majestic as quickly as he could, and dropped me outside Terminal-1, from where my bus would depart. I roamed around the terminal for a while, observing various departures at the time. I had already received the details of the bus and its crew by SMS from KSRTC - and I was traveling on board a fairly new Volvo B11R 13.8m coach. I was surely …

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R

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I did not look beyond the KSRTC (Kerala) website when it came to this journey. I did make a customary look at the Karnataka website, but didn't book there. I preferred my favorite service on this route - the 1900EKMBNG Garuda King Class service - among the best premium services offered by Kerala SRTC.

June 23, 2019:
It is always difficult to leave home - especially when TW is not returning. I had to get to Thrissur by 2030hrs, and I had left home by around 1900hrs - I was hoping to get a KSRTC bus (which had reintroduced service recently) - but luck wouldn't have it, and I ended up cutting a little too close. I managed to get a bus by 1930hrs, and the bus got me to Thrissur a little past 2030hrs. Thrissur bus station is the worst place to be in, on a weekend evening. With every inch crowded, I had no option by stay in the open ground. My bus, RS784, rolled in to the bus station at 2056hrs - about 11 minutes behind schedule.

The bus was directly taken to a departure platform, a…

Bangalore to Thrissur: on the new LHB-fied Island Express

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I have never considered trains as an option while traveling to Kerala - with a string of travels lined up over the year, I was forced to look at trains as a viable alternative. I had to travel to Kerala with family at quite a short notice - I had to choose between a train or a flight - the latter was not an option due to the fares and some uncertainties over the number of people travelling. I finally picked the train - the iconic Island express was preferred. Once the sole option for people traveling from Kerala to Bengaluru - although multiple options exist now, this train is still among the most preferred and runs long waiting lists most of the time. I did manage to get confirmed tickets for this journey, but except one, none of the berths were what we would've preferred.

I was quite excited about the journey, for multiple reasons - one, I was taking the Island express; two, I was taking a train to my hometown after a very long time; and, three, this would be a ride in an LHB r…