Bengaluru to Hubli (and on to Dharwad): NWKRTC Volvo B11R

This was my first journey to Dharwad - my first journey to that side of Karnataka itself (except for journeys to Mumbai). I was confused about what bus to take (I didn't consider trains at all) - I had a lenience to NWKRTC buses. Although the private players were cheaper (too few options though), I decided to pick NWKRTC Volvos for both directions - now came the next confusion. Go straight to Dharwad or take a bus to Hubli and then the BRTS to Dharwad - I decided to stick to the second option.

July 02, 2019:
The bus to Hubli departs from Majestic at 2300hrs - it comes in from Chennai, and I was sure there would be some delay. I left home around 2125hrs, and took a metro to Majestic (I didn't want to wait on the road side at Yeshwantpur for the bus to come). I was at Majestic by around 2230hrs. The platform was crowded - buses to every part of north Karnataka were lined up there. Most of the buses had very few passengers - reservation status of my bus updated that our situation was no better. As crew tried to find more passengers, buses remained in their bays for longer time, and this caused a lot of backlog and traffic inside the bus station.
My bus, waiting to get a platform at Majestic..

A little past 2300hrs, I notice a fairly new Volvo B11R with NWKRTC markings waiting in line to enter the platform. That was surely my bus - I went there to check and confirm if it was, and it indeed was. KA-63-F-0105 of Hubballi Mofussil-3 depot would be taking me to Hubli that night. The bus came to the bay only by 2307hrs - seven minutes past the scheduled departure time! There were hardly 15 passengers on board (including those boarding from Bengaluru) - the crew tried getting a few more passengers - I think they managed to get a few more. We started off from Majestic bus station by around 2316hrs - stopped for a few more minutes near the exit, and finally started off at 2318hrs - 18 minutes behind schedule.

The driver took the route via Navrang circle (most buses go via Malleswaram instead these days), and got to Govardhan (Yeshwantpur) by 2337hrs - a couple of passengers more joined in, and we continued. The bus didn't take the elevated highway - it went below the flyover, and managed to get a passenger from 8th mile (2347hrs) as well. The driver let the beast loose after we passed the toll gate - the driver managed some great overtakes as well. Interestingly, the bus even had a musical horn - which wasn't used past midnight.
The bus after dropping me at Hubli Old CBS

I slept very well past midnight - the driving style was absolutely sleep friendly. I slept so well that I woke up only when the AC was turned off the next morning - the bus was already parked in Hubli Old bus station then (0637hrs)! A little over 6 hours of undisturbed sleep - I was still half asleep when I was jolted awake (by turning off the AC) - I had a bit of hangover as I walked out of the bus. Had to wade the auto drivers to get to the waiting area. It took me a couple of minutes before I was back to senses. After a while, I got into the BRTS bus to head to Dharwad - an amazing journey taking 27 minutes from Hubballi Old CBS to Dharwad Court Circle! (I intend to write on that seperately some other day)

Remarks: The bus, KA-63-F-0105, had about 3.8 Lakh kilometres on the odo. The bus was maintained in really good shape. The interiors were absolutely clean - fresh blankets were given as the bus departed from Bengaluru, as well. I must appreciate the crew members - very well behaved, and amazing driving skills. At 7 hours and 19 minutes, the run time also seemed good. I enjoyed the ride really well. They are comparatively expensive, when compared to private operators. They are cheaper on weekends though.

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

Ratings:Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.75/5

Pros: Great Crew, fairly punctual
Cons: Nothing really


Will I take this service again? Would love to when traveling next time

Comments

Arun said…
The timings are awesome!! I have been driving to dharwad every month in a AT powered SUV and the timings are almost same. The whole stretch between Davengare and Hubli is under 6 laning.This service happens to be one of the fastest between chennai and bangalore in the day time, at times faster than private buses.
Daytona said…
Sir is this Chennai BELGAUM bus?

Daytona said…
Sir is this bus Chennai-belgaum route?
Binai K Sankar said…
No. That is the Chennai-Hubli service.

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