Kalaburagi to Bengaluru: Vijayanand Volvo B9R

I was searching for options for my travel from Kalaburagi to Bengaluru - I was inclined to take a bus for this journey due to the fact that I was reaching back on a Sunday morning, and I wouldn't have issues even if the bus was delayed. The options I had were the AC sleeper operated by Orange, and the Volvo from VRL - the other options were all non-AC buses, and I did not fancy traveling this long a distance by non-AC buses. I wasn't enticed by the Orange option, and decided to try my trusted VRL - my first time in this direction, though. 

July 06, 2019:
I had returned to my hotel room sometime around 1600hrs after examination work. Although I had some plan of going out for a walk, laziness got the better of me, and I dozed off for a while instead. I woke up quite later in the evening. My bus was only at 2200hrs, and had a lot of time to spend. I left my hotel room sometime past 2000hrs - getting an autorickshaw or some mode of transportation to get to the bus station got a little tiring - the buses would stop since that place I was standing was not a bus stop, and no autos turned up either. I kept walking till I got to the next bus stop (as indicated by Google Maps) - I managed to get an auto after some waiting. I got off outside the bus station and headed straight to a restaurant nearby. I took my time to slowly relish the Kaju Rice that I had ordered.

I left the restaurant only around 2140hrs - and walked slowly towards the VRL office on 'New Jewargi Road', quite close to the bus station itself. The tracking link was working perfect, and I was seeing the bus coming close. Other buses to Bengaluru were lining up, and departing one after the other. My bus came in at 2156hrs - boarding commenced immediately afterwards. Luggage loading took sometime as well. The bus looked young at heart, the odo meter showed age - the entire bus looked in good shape. We started from Gulbarga at 2206hrs - six minutes behind schedule. There was a little competition with other operators on the same route - the road was two laned and the driver managed to maintain pace on it.
The bus - KA-25-C-9747

The bus pulled off the main road, and turned to a hotel near Jewargi (Hotel Lalit Gardan) at 2242hrs. The place was packed with buses - including private operators and government buses. The place was packed with buses - the restaurant was full as well. We got moving after dinner by 2310hrs. I slept soon after the dinner break. I slept quite well - until we got to Sira toll the next morning - the bus stopped past the toll gate for a quick restroom break (0659hrs) - the crew went for tea, and returned by 0709. We got moving soon later. I was expecting a delayed arrival in Bengaluru now - the bus had to be past Nelamangala going by their timings.
During refueling at VRL Garage, near Dabaspet

The driver at the wheels wasn't very fast at this point - may be he kept it slow since it was Sunday. The bus went below a flyover near Dabaspet - I knew what was happening - the bus turned to the VRL garage nearby and headed straight to the fuel station inside the facility (0804hrs). An opportunity I was waiting for - to see the facility in day light. VRL always surprises me due to the extent of their operations - the scale of their facilities. Its no joke that a private operator has own fueling facilities and yards to take care of their vehicles! We got moving from there at 0820hrs after taking in a tank full of diesel. I got off the bus at Nagasandra toll at 0856hrs - Close to about 2 hours behind the announced time on their website.

Remarks: The bus, KA-25-C-9747 had clocked about 18.20 Lakh kilometres. VRL's maintenance always awed me - an 8 year old bus was riding like a new bus! The drivers were well behaved - one of the two were fast on the road, while the other was on the slower side. The bus had an on time departure, but ended up close to two hours behind schedule. I am not sure if we had some traffic pile-up at night that caused this delay. The dinner break could've been taken before Gulbarga - that could have contributed to the delay. All said, it was one good ride. 

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

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 4/5

Overall: 5/5

Pros: Great Crew, fairly punctual
Cons: Ageing bus

Will I take this service again? A great option on this route - the only AC Seater option, as well. Recommended.

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