Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Garuda King Class Volvo B9R

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, and boarding starting immediately. The crew were quick and efficient - while one person took care of the baggage bay, the other checked tickets and quickly left people in. My co-passenger was already seated - and the typical indians ahead of my seat had reclined their seats to the maximum. Talk of basic courtesy to co-passengers, they didn't even bother adjusting for other - It was hell getting in to the seat. The bus was in fairly good shape - very well maintained as well. A blanket was already placed on the seat as well.
The bus: RS784

We got moving by 2109hrs - about 24 minutes behind schedule. The driver was quick from the word go. We quickly exit the town and got to the highway, and the driver was firing all his 340 horses. I was enjoying the ride - although I felt sleepy, I decided to wait till we completed the dinner break - I didn't want a disruption in my sleep. The cleared the Kuthiran pass without hassles - no blocks there, except for slow moving traffic. The bus pulled in to a small restaurant after the new toll gate near Vadakkenchery - at a place called Panniyankara, at 2155hrs.

This was small restaurant - a makeshift building. They had sufficient restrooms, thankfully. I didn't want to have food - so I spent my time walking around and had one lemon soda (Nannari Sherbet) and remained till the crew returned. The driver was quite friendly - he was very excited and happy with the way Volvo performed - the bus was still young and healthy even with over 9 Lakh kilometres in the odo. We started from the hotel at 2218hrs - a 23 minute break. I tried sleeping after the break, but found it hard to sleep - something wasn't fitting in place, and I couldn't sleep. I remained awake as we pulled into Palakkad bus station (2249hrs) - boarding commenced quickly. This particular bus is very popular among passengers, and is fairly punctual most of the time, as well.

We got moving from Palakkad at 2255hrs - about 55 minutes behind schedule. I drew the curtains close, and somehow got sleeping after Palakkad. I maanaged to sleep quite well, and remained asleep till passed Attibele. The bus stopped for a passenger drop at Chandapura (0426hrs) and continued towards the city. We got to Electronic City by 0432hrs - we stopped below the elevated highway, dropped passengers and continued. I really liked this - its always better to take the highway below the flyover - serves a lot of people. We stopped at Bommanahalli (0441hrs), Silk Board (0446hrs), Madiwala (0450hrs), Christ College (0456hrs), Lalbagh (0502hrs), Corporation Circle (0508hrs) before getting to Majestic (0511hrs).

What was interesting is that the bus had almost half its seats occupied even as the bus reached Majestic - clearly proves that passengers prefer state buses if they are heading to the city. There were passengers alighting at Malleswaram (0518hrs), Yeswantpur (0522hrs) and Goreguntepalya (0527hrs) as well. The bus finally pulled in to Basaveshwara Bus station, Peenya at 0532hrs - a whole one hour and 28 minutes before time!

Remarks: The bus, KL-15-A-282 (RS784) based at Ernakulam depot, had clocked somewhere around 9.0 Lakh kilometres. The bus was maintained in good shape. The crew members were soft-spoken and well behaved. The driver was quite friendly as well. This particular service is among the best in Kerala RTC, and sees among the best crews from the depot. At a run time of 8h23m, this was perhaps the best I had in recent times, on this route. An outstanding experience, as always!

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

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

Overall: 5/5

Pros: Value for money, punctual
Cons: The buses are getting aged!

Will I take this service again? Absolutely!

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