Bangalore to Coimbatore: Swamy Ayyappa Travels AC Sleeper

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 running in my mind.

July 13, 2019:
The first thing I did as soon as I woke up was search for tickets again! I found one bus with comfortable departure time and a single berth - but I couldn't confirm the ticket due to some technical issues that cropped up. I was quite busy with office that day, and the ticket booking part took the back seat. I thought of making a cut journey - changing buses on the way, as a back-up. Sometime during the day, I fired up redbus and searched for tickets - and found a single lower berth in Swamy Ayyappa Travels - the fare was on the lower side, and the tickets seemed to had opened up only a while before I did that booking. I didn't think twice before I booked this ticket - so the trip was on!

I was quite excited about this - I thought for a few moments if I must give TW some clues, which I did. Another reason to be excited about this journey was that I'd be traveling by a Capella model bus for the first time. This was also a new operator for me.

I left home around 2100hrs - I took the metro to Kalasipalya. It had rained a bit outside, and the road was all messy. It took some effort to avoid puddles of water, and get to the place where my bus would depart from Kalasipalya at 2300hrs. I spent some time trying to experiment night photography on my camera, as I waited for the bus to turn up. The bus turned up by around 2230hrs itself - they didn't commence boarding until about 2245hrs. Only a few passengers were to board at Kalasipalya - interestingly, I couldn't locate their agent/office there (I didn't try searching). I got on to the bus soon after boarding commenced - the interiors were quite fresh and clean. This was not exactly a full featured Capella - the interiors were a little toned down, but the finish and excellent.
The bus!

The berth was very comfortable, and I managed to find a sweet spot very quickly. The bus departed from Kalasipalya at 2251hrs - almost 9 minutes before time. We quickly joined the mad traffic towards Madiwala. The bus stopped at Dairy Circle (Christ College) for a while to pick passengers, and got moving by 2308hrs. Although I had expected no amenities, the attendant came around distributing water bottles just before we got to Madiwala. Pick-up from Madiwala was real quick, and we got moving from there by 2326hrs. Traffic around Madiwala market was maddening, as usual, but we managed to cross Madiwala Police station by 2340hrs. The worst of the traffic was beyond this place - it took another 7 minutes to get to Silk Board (about a kilometre-and-a-half or so). Boarding took a little time here, and we started only by 2351hrs.

I slowly got set to sleep - It took a while more before I slept. We picked a couple of passengers at Electronic City (0002hrs) in the meantime. I had a nice long sleep after this - undisturbed, and really peaceful. I woke up hearing the attendant walking down the gangway announcing a 'toilet break'. The bus was parked in a fuel station at Sankagiri (0401hrs) now. I took got off the bus to use the restroom, and also to have stroll. The toilets were clean, and the crew were very cooperative, and gave everybody enough time to use the restroom. We started from there at 0408hrs. I had another round of good long sleep. The driving style was brilliant, and was very sleep friendly.

I woke up as the bus started from Hopes College stop in Coimbatore (0603hrs). By now, the attendant was busy waking up all passengers and alerting them that we had arrived Coimbatore. We stopped at Lakshmi mill bus stop at 0609hrs. I was expecting to be dropped outside Gandhipuram SETC bus station - but the driver directly headed towards the flyover near Goods Shed road, took a U turn and turned towards Gandhipuram, and stopped outside the Central bus station (0618hrs) - by now the attendant was calling out "last stop", and the auto guys were shouting that we were in Coimbatore!

After this, I headed to the SETC bus station to see if there were any buses to Palakkad - on finding none, I headed to Ukkadam, and took a TNSTC bus to Palakkad (the KSRTC ones were full, and I didn't fancy travelling standing all the way). The TNSTC guy didn't disappoint - He got to Palakkad in a little over an hour.

Remarks: The bus, KA-51-AC-6276, was in great shape. The bus was based on an Ashok Leyland chassis, with a 'Capella' body by SM Kannappa Automobiles aka Prakash. The berth was awesome - very comfortable, and the driving style really complemented with comfort offered by the berth. The crew were great - very friendly and accommodating. The bus left on time, and got to Coimbatore more-or-less on time (An 18 minute delay). Interestingly, this operator even won the best operator award (south zone) at the national operators' event this year! Overall a great journey, and would love repeating!

Amenities:

Blanket: Yes
Water: Yes
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Available, did not use.
Entertainment: Not available.

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5 (negligible delay)

Overall:
5/5

Pros: Great Crew, comfortable bus, fairly punctual
Cons: nothing really

Will I take this service again?
Absolutely!

Comments

Sunup said…
Is Swamy Ayyappa Travels an offshoot of KPN?
Sunup said…
Okay. I got misled by seeing the 'Sarvesh' stickers.
Sunup said…
My bad! I think it's time to get my eyes tested :D. I read Sarvesh for Suresh!
C.A.Raghu Ram said…
I too thought it was a pre owned kpn bus

Popular posts from this blog

First ride on Airavat Diamond Class: Bangalore to Thrissur

What is "Kallada G4"?