Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

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 bus and returned outside. Two more Airavat Club Class buses were parked next to my bus - both of them were working special services to Bengaluru.

Boarding was happening quick - since all the three buses were standing together, the crew had to check tickets properly to ensure people were boarding the right bus. All the buses were full and hence boarding was completed well before time. The bus started from Palakkad at 2131hrs - one minute behind schedule. Interestingly, there was only one crew - one driver-cum-conductor on board. He had checked all passengers, and ensured blankets and water bottles were provided before he started. He took a route other than the usual route, thereby reaching the highway a little earlier than Chandranagar, and took the flyover at Chandranagar. The driver was fast from the word go, and did not lug the engine at all.
The bus: KA-01-F-9201

We made very swift progress. I had a doubt if the bus would enter Coimbatore town - I was awake till we entered Coimbatore bypass - and we did not turn towards the city. I slept before we exited the bypass - and had a nice long sleep. I slept till the bus neared Electronic City. Cabin lights were turned on a little before Electronic City, and the driver-cum-conductor was calling out for passengers alighting at Electronic City. He had promised a 0400hrs arrival when a few passengers asked about the arrival time at Electronic City. The bus stopped Electronic City (Toll gate) at 0349hrs! We took the elevated highway, and got to Silk Board by 0358hrs.

There was absolutely no traffic on the road at this time, and we made very swift progress to Madiwala. The driver stopped at every point requested by passengers - Madiwala police station (0401hrs), Madiwala St. Johns (0404hrs) and Christ College (0408hrs). We got to Shantinagar by 0414hrs - the bus did not enter the bus station, but stopped outside. About 3/4th of the bus was empty by now, and I had a fear if they'd terminate here. The driver promised that he'd head to Majestic even if there was only one passenger - very reassuring! On the way to Majestic, we stopped at Corporation Circle (0420hrs) to drop a passenger. The bus finally terminated its trip at Kempegowda Bus station (Majestic) at 0423hrs - an hour and 17 minutes before schedule!!

Remarks: The bus, KA-01-F-9201 homed at Bengaluru-4 depot, had about 14 lakh kilometres on the odo. Despite its age, the bus was maintained in fairly good shape and did not have rattles or squeaks. The single crew was really friendly and accommodating. Although for this short distance a single driver is sufficient, however, considering safety, two crew should've been there. The driving was absolutely sleep friendly, and still the bus got to Bengaluru in 6 hours and 54 minutes - a distance of close to 420kms. This bus is already my favorite!

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: 5/5 (Reached early!!)

Overall: 5/5

Pros:
Great Crew, comfortable bus, fairly punctual
Cons: Nothing specific!

Will I take this service again?
Absolutely! Already my favorite!

Comments

Sriram said…
Pls change your comment referring to Coimbatore as town. It's the 4th biggest city in south India after Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad and highly industrialized and developed.
C.A.Raghu Ram said…
Unbelievable airawat completed palakkad bangalore in 6.45 hrs. Did they stop for tea/ snacks anywhere ?
Binai K Sankar said…
I don't think he stopped anywhere that day. But they did stop in all my subsequent journeys

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