Mangalore to Bengaluru: Durgamba AC Sleeper (Service 30)

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-up point at about 2200hrs.

It began raining a little later - It rained fairly heavily, that I had to take shelter. The tracking link showed that the bus came closer. Thankfully, the rain took a break as the bus came closer. The bus arrived at 2217hrs - about 2 minutes behind scheduled. I could get into the bus without getting drenched. Boarding was real quick - the bus got moving at 2219hrs, from the PVS Circle Durgamba office. This bus was also built by Damodar Autocraft - the maintenance was better than what I experienced on the inbound. The blankets were much better. The pillow was again a piece of rexin wrapped cushion. Interestingly, on both the buses, I noticed that the crew had placed metal trays below the berth to keep footwear - this ensured that the footwear remains accessible, and also keeps the floor clean. The attendant made sure the passengers left their footwear on the tray only.
My bus at the pick-up point..

The engine sound was very much audible inside the passenger cabin - so this is a problem with Damodar coaches, I believe. In the meantime, we reached Jyothi circle, picked passengers and continued (2222hrs). We got to Pumpwell by 2228hrs - there was a traffic block there due to a line of buses stopped to pick passengers. Traffic cops appeared a little later, and went around asking the buses to depart - we got moving by 2234hrs. A little later, the bus stopped on the road side near a temple, where the crew went to pray before they continued the journey. The bus stopped at Firangipete and BC Road for pick-ups on the way.
During the break..

The bus stopped at a fuel station en route at 2325hrs - the crew announced a 10 minute break and walked out. There was a restaurant, and lots of restrooms. A few other buses had also stopped there. We got moving from there at 2337hrs. I slept after the break - slept really well after that. The driving was really good - so good that I slept all the way till we passed Nelamangala. I had to decide where must I alight - as a split second decision, I decided to get off at Nagasandra itself (just before the elevated highway). The bus stopped at my place, at 0539hrs - it was well on time. I booked a taxi as I got off - but the driver wouldn't come because he didn't want to go to my place, and ordered me to cancel. Thankfully, I got a BMTC bus from there - I got home in about 15 minutes from there.

Remarks: The bus, KA-51-AB-3053, built on an Ashok Leyland chassis by Damodar Autocraft, was maintained in great shape. The end-to-end ride took about 7 hours and 20 minutes - the driving style was awesome, and I could sleep really well. I did not even realise the ghat stretch - based on my experiences with Durgamba, I am absolutely in love with them. The crew were good - friendly, but stern on certain things. I would love to travel with them again, for sure!

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

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

Overall: 5/5

Pros: Value for money, Comfortable berth
Cons: Nothing really

Will I take this service again? Will surely travel with them again!

Comments

rahulvijayev said…
Whenever I travel to Kanhangad, my wifes place, I always prefer Durgamba Volvo as their first pickup point is just near my house. The crew is really passenger friendly and as you rightly told-is stern about certain things like punctuality, cleanliness etc. However, i understand from the crew that the Volvo has completed around 7 years of service. Hope they will replace these soon.

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