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Showing posts from August, 2019

Chennai to Coimbatore: National Travels GliderZ AC Sleeper

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This journey came up at the last minute. I searched all over the booking portals for interesting options for traveling from Chennai to Coimbatore. I wanted to try a new operator - and did not want to repeat any operator. While searching for new operators, I found a lot of them. I even found two GliderZ buses listed among them. I decided to pick-up the newer one among them, and finalized National Travels. They also had single lower berths available - which is always my most preferred.

GliderZ is a premium sleeper model built by MG Bus & Coach, based in Belgaum, on a BharatBenz OF1623 chassis. I haven't tried this model earlier, and this was an opportunity to try this model as well. I was quite excited to have grabbed this opportunity. National Travels in a Chennai based operator, operating on various routes in Tamil Nadu - and is different from the Bangalore based National Travels. This operator is usually identified as "National Travels Chennai" on most portals.

Augu…

Bengaluru to Chennai: Thirumal Alaghu Travels Volvo Celeste Sleeper

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I've been wanting to go to Chennai since quite some time, but didn't have any reason to do that. A reason to go to Chennai came in the form of an official appointment. Two of my colleagues were also traveling with me. They had a single requirement - a Sleeper bus was preferred. Based on our requirement, we had to travel post-noon the previous day of our appointment. We chose to take a bus that goes to Koyambedu - this removed a few operators from the list. We refined the search further, and I stumbled upon Thirumal Alaghu Travels (TAT) while searching for options. A Volvo Multi-axle 'Celeste' Sleeper was on offer at fairly low fares - the pick-up and drop times suited us to the T as well.

August 15, 2019:
Independence day is always busy for an academician. It was no different for me either. The morning half went in College - with hoisting of the tri-colour, followed by cultural events. The bag I was to carry with me was delivered only after I returned from office - it …

Kannur to Bengaluru by train!

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August 08, 2019:
The alarm went off at 0600hrs! I had planned to go out for some bus fanning in the morning. I was a little tired to wake up at that time, and snoozed the alarm. I finally got off my bed by 0630hrs - rushed with the morning rituals and started off from the hotel I was put up in. I had rained cats and dogs the previous night - the effect of the torrential downpour was evident everywhere. The road had lots of puddles, and a lot of hoarding had be blown away by the wind! I was flummoxed by the complete absence buses of Fort Road - buses from Bengaluru should've been standing there at this point of time! I flagged down an autorickshaw to get to the KSRTC bus station at Caltex Junction. The driver casually said the buses hadn't come from Bengaluru since the road was closed. I assumed he was talking about the road closure in Makkutta pass, and ignored his comment.

I noticed that KSRTC buses from Bengaluru weren't present at the bus station either. I did some bus …

Bengaluru to Kannur: Golden Travels Volvo B8R

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One fine day - between some serious work in the office, I receive this call from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as a faculty member in a Pharmacy College in Kerala, and had called me to inform of an appointment as an external examiner in their university! My appointment was in a college near Kannur - this was a major surprise for me. The travel lover in me quickly got to checking tickets for this journey, and I finalised taking Golden Travels' new Volvo B8R that operates from Chennai to Kannur via Bengaluru. This was also the last bus from Bengaluru, and is a safer option for me - even if I get stuck in office for longer than usual.

As the day of my journey came closer, broke this terrible news that the road to Kannur was closed due to a landslide. A section of the road in the Maakootta pass (between Virajpet and Iritty) had collapsed and the road was closed. Buses were re-routed via Mananthavady - this means a longer journey and a delay in getting to Kannur. I …

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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After my last experience with KSRTC's Palakkad-Bengaluru Airavat Club Class, I did not look further at other options when I booked this ticket. This option was also the cheapest at that time, and made all the sense to book this bus.

August 05, 2019:
I had decided to try using public transportation to get to Palakkad this time. A lot of enquiries were made to confirm the timings of buses in the evening hours. An autorickshaw was arranged to get me from TW's home to the nearest bus stop. The auto driver dropped me at the bus stop by around 1915hrs - he offered to wait till I got a bus, but I refused. There was brief wait to get a bus - and it poured down this time. The bus turned up at around 1930hrs - it wasn't very crowded either. I managed to get a seat in the bus. The bus got to Palakkad town bus station by around 2020hrs - I took an autorickshaw from here to the KSRTC bus station, about a kilometre away. I was at the KSRTC bus station at 2030hrs - a full hour before the…

Bengaluru to Coimbatore: MSS Bharat Benz AC Sleeper

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While looking out for tickets to travel to Coimbatore, the MSS AC Sleeper hit my eye, more than once. I had booked on MSS sometime earlier, but the travel didn't happen and I ended up cancelling my ticket. MSS - aka Mettur Super Services operates fairly new BharatBenz buses on the Bangalore-Coimbatore route. I have been wanting to try this operator since long, and did not think twice before booking this ticket.

August 03, 2019:
I got to Kalasipalya, my boarding point, by around 2130hrs - almost an hour before my bus was to depart. I spent the rest of my time spotting different buses departing at that time from Kalasipalya. I received a call from the MSS office by around 2200hrs, asking my whereabouts. The guy at the other end of the phone (later identified as the attendant of the bus) gave me very specific, point-to-point advice about how to get to their office, and request that I reach early so that we could depart early. Bonus points for the call!

Getting to their office was rea…

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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Booking this bus was a no-nonsense option. I always prefer buses originating from my boarding point, so that I don't have to wait endlessly. Karnataka RTC operates more premium services to Kerala than Kerala RTC, and hence is the operator of choice for most people. Aside the number of options, Karnataka RTC also offers cheaper fares and ensure economical travel for lots of people. I opted for the 2130 Palakkad Bengaluru Airavat Club Class service for my return for the reasons mentioned earlier.

July 21, 2019:
I left from TW's place along sometime around 2015hrs - with over an hour to go for my bus. I was dropped outside the KSRTC bus station by my father-in-law. It was drizzling. KSRTC bus station Palakkad is a terrible place to be in, especially if it rains. There is hardly any shelter, and the road inside the bus station in not paved either. Its full of craters (not potholes). My bus to Bangalore was already parked near the exit gate of the bus station. I left my bag in the …

Bangalore to Palakkad: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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This trip was not supposed to be by road - I had a train ticket - a precious train ticket, that I had booked a good three months in advance. Like always, advance planning never works for me, and this time was no different. I had to travel a day earlier, and ended up having to cancel my train ticket and take a bus instead. I decided to take an early evening bus so that I could reach Palakkad late in the night, around mid-night, so that I could sleep well before I head out to do my work. I had to choose between the two KSRTCs - I opted for Karnataka RTC - which ensures I get a discount for my return ticket as well! I picked the Bangalore-Trivandrum Airavat Club Class service.

July 18, 2019:
I left a little earlier than usual from office, and took a metro towards Lalbagh station. Getting an auto from Lalbagh station to Shantinagar turned out to be the toughest task. I lost quite some time searching for an auto - but managed to get to Shantinagar well on time. The bus was brought to the b…

Coimbatore to Bangalore: TN-SETC AC Seater cum Sleeper

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It all began here - that message from a good friend, which read "AC Seaters came online". Both of us knew what that meant. We were talking of the new AC Seater services of TN-SETC. I had informed him that I'd love to try them, and he had employed his sources to find when they'd be listed for online reservation. I headed to the SETC website soon after the message came, and found, both, the new AC Seater and the AC Seater+Sleeper coach listed online. I booked a seat on the AC Seater+Sleeper coach - for two reasons - this bus departed at 2230 (the AC seater departs earlier, at 2100), and I wanted to try their Seater+Sleeper quite badly.

July 14, 2019:
Surprising TW with a visit was successfully accomplished. However, it was gloomy as it turned evening, and it was time to leave. We left for Palakkad by car at around 1900hrs (a distance of about 32 kilometres). We were running a little late, and the road wasn't in great shape that we could speed up. I managed to get a…

Bangalore to Coimbatore: Swamy Ayyappa Travels AC Sleeper

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It had been almost two weeks since I met my better half. Perhaps the longest time we hadn't met each other after marriage. This period had not been easy for either of us - and there was one more week before I'd be meeting her again! I was longing for a break after close to about three weeks of continuous travels - I was also longing to meet her. I was in deep confusion as the weekend approached. I was involved in thoughts of surprising her by making a surprise visit on the last day of the week - I was also busy searching for tickets to make a quick visit. Tickets were an issue - buses were mostly sold out, and all those remaining were selling them at astronomical prices as well.

It was one message from a close friend that boosted my search for tickets - that message allowed me buy tickets to return at a cheap price. I had to search for outbound tickets now. I wasn't able to find feasible options even as it was Friday night. I slept that night with various back-up plans ru…

Harappanahalli to Bengaluru: Via Davanagere on KSRTC

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July 11, 2019:
I hadn't booked any return ticket, since I wanted to return as early as possible after the examination. The fact that Davanagere was hardly 2 hours by road from Harappanahalli was a factor that drove me to this decision. There were plenty of options from Davanagere, and I didn't have to worry about reservations or seat availability.

The examination wound up quite early and I was done with everything including lunch and all the paperwork by 1400hrs. I managed to get back to my hotel by about 1415hrs, and quickly checked out of the hotel and rushed to the bus station, a few metres away. I saw a bus to Davanagere coming out as I neared the exit gate - the driver stopped for me. The bus was coming from a far away place - but wasn't packed to capacity. I managed to find a seat in the bus. The driver was quick, and drove really well. The road passed through farmlands and villages for most part of the journey. The bus took one stop at Harihar on the way. It took ab…

Bangalore to Harappanahalli: Nagashree travels Non-AC Sleeper coach

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An examination duty in the rural hinterland of Karnataka. I've heard of this small college located in rural area of Davanagere district multiple times. I got my opportunity to visit this place this time around. I had to spent some time trying to find how to get to this place - KSRTC threw up some options, but none were enticing. I spoke a colleague who hailed from this place, who spoke about this operator called, Nagashree travels among a couple of other operators. Interestingly, none of these were listed on Redbus! I found them on some other websites and booked a ticket on Nagashree (based on online ratings, and timings) through Paytm website.

July 10, 2019:
I did my usual drill of taking the bus to the metro station, and then the metro train to Majestic. I spent some time watching buses in the KSRTC bus station, and then walked out in search of the pick-up point of my bus. The address was a little vague - and there were multiple offices with the same name. I finally walked into …

Bagalkot to Bengaluru: On NWKRTC

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The lack of good options to travel to Bagalkot, and the fact that I had to get back to Bengaluru early in the morning forced me to travel without a return booking. Based on the timings, and convenience, I found it would be a better idea to head to Hubli from Bagalkot, and take a bus from there. I looked at various options from Bagalkot to Hubli, and found a few NWKRTC express buses listed, and all of them showed a travel time of about 3.5hours. I decided to head to Hubli first, an then a bus from there to Hubli. I poured over options for that, and finally booked an NWKRTC Airavat 'Gold' Class from Hubli to Bengaluru.

July 09, 2019: 
My counterpart at the examination centre advised that I must take one of the Hubli shuttle services, and should avoid any long distance bus, since they travel slower and tend to reach late in Hubli. I decided to stick to his advice, but still did enquire with the crew of the Mangalore bus - who had the same opinion. I got into a tired looking Tata …

Bengaluru to Bagalkot: Royal's Travels

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I had been putting off booking my ticket to Bagalkot. This was my first trip to this place, and I had no clue of what bus to take. After pouring over online websites continuously, I had shortlisted a few operators, and kept looking around for more information. I briefly considered the NWKRTC option - but they marked most of the lower single berths in their emergency quota or the single lady quota. This ruled out my option. After pondering over for a few days, I picked the non-ac seater+sleeper of Royal's travels.

July 08, 2019:
I was apprehensive of taking this option - this was my first experience in a non-AC seater+sleeper coach - I had picked a single seat in the bus. I had left home early - having my dinner that early was not an option and had planned to have something when the bus stops (given an early departure, I was sure it would take a dinner break). The bus was at 2050hrs from Yeshwantpur - and I got there by 2030hrs (a little earlier than that, actually). It was a littl…