Showing posts from September, 2019

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

I have nothing to say - I didn't even look at options. I headed straight to the KSRTC website as the date of my journey was confirmed, booked a window seat on my favorite service - 2130PGTBNG. The KSRTC website allows payments using UPI, which is a very big convenience!

September 16, 2019:
It was one tempestuous day - we ended up missing our lunch that day, and had to do with whatever we could manage. The long day winded up with light dinner, and I got into an autorickshaw to get to the bus stop. I got a bus soon later, and got to Palakkad by around 2040hrs. I was at the KSRTC bus station by around 2050hrs - much earlier than the departure time of my bus. My first attempt was to search for my bus - I couldn't find any Airavat Club Class bus parked at the normal parking area - I was a little confused about this. I returned to the bus station, and found one Airavat Club Class Scania bus parked behind a few KSRTC buses. There were no specials from Palakkad on this day - so this h…

Bengaluru to Coimbatore: BSP Travels

My quest to try new operators adds to my confusion everytime I have to book a ticket. I was at a tie between two operators while I was searching for tickets from Bengaluru to Coimbatore this time as well - after a lot of 'research' and discussions on a WhatsApp group, I picked BSP travels. Like most of the new operators in the route, this bus also had a long pick-up ride in the city - I opted to board at Kalasipalya, which was the closest to my home.

September 14, 2019:
I have been having terribly tiring days, and this day was no different. I reached back home quite late from office and was tied up with some other official work. I had planned to have food from a nearby restaurant before setting out - but the lack of time made me look at alternatives. I decided to get a take-away instead. I packed in my food, and took a train to the metro station, from where the metro train ferried me to Kalasipalya.

The operator did not have an office in Kalasipalya - the boarding point was on…

Chennai to Bengaluru: RKK Travels

September 13, 2019:
I had set a target of returning to Bengaluru before its too late in the night - It was already past 1400hrs, and I still hadn't taken my lunch. The MTC bus I had gotten into from Porur slowly rolled into CMBT, at Koyambedu, Chennai. I looked around searching for a restaurant to have my lunch - I finally headed to Sangeetha's for lunch. As I waited for my lunch to be served, I logged into various booking websites to find a bus for my return to Bengaluru. I wanted a sleeper bus - but none of them had lower berths available, and even those that had, it was all double berths. I finally decided to take a seater bus instead - I decided to pick a new operator this time, and chose RKK Travels for this journey.

RKK Travels comes from a very humble background - reportedly started by a Volvo bus driver, this operator has plenty of options on the Chennai-Bengaluru route - and all of them were Volvos! They've been adding new buses off late - they picked up a lot of …

Bengaluru to Chennai: asianXpress Scania Metrolink

I didn't have too many options when I made this booking. This was a quick trip to Chennai - I'd be returning the same evening, and I was on the look out for buses that would drop me at Porur, where I had some work. After going through most options, I decided to pick-up asianXpress, who had a bus that went to Porur. I booked my ticket through the operator's own website.

Sometime towards evening on the day before my journey (the same day that I booked my ticket), I received a message saying the bus was cancelled, and I must call up the operator for update regarding the refund. I quickly looked at other alternatives - there were none that could drop me at Porur, and I had to be content with a drop at Koyambedu instead. I called up the phone number provided - but there was no response. I continued search for other options - but the buses were either too early for me, or too late. A while later, I received a call back from the operator - the person at the other end informed me…

Palakkad to Bengaluru: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

I do not look for options for this journey. Its KSRTC Airavat Club Class all the way - and I look for alternatives only when I end up not getting seats on this bus. This trip to TW's place for Onam was no different. I didn't look beyond this bus this time as well.

September 11, 2019:
Very few local buses seemed to be running on the day - most buses had taken a break for Onam. I was worried about getting to Palakkad, and ended up hiring an auto for the distance. I was at the bus station by around 2100hrs - my bus hadn't lined up yet, but it was parked a little away though. Soon later, the bus was brought in and boarding commenced. Like always, the bus was sold out today as well, and people got in real quick.

We started moving from Palakkad bus station at 2137hrs - seven minutes behind schedule. The driver was really lug happy, and kept shifting to the top most gear in no time. The engine struggled as it tried to pump out power at low rpms and high gears. The bus took the co…

Bangalore to Palakkad: KSRTC Airavat Club Class

Onam is the biggest celebration for any Keralite! Its the only festival we all celebrate irrespective of religion or caste - the biggest celebration of the state. Originally a harvest festival, with religious underlining, Onam is truly a festival that brings all people together. Every Keralite tries reaching back to his home state during this time - atleast most of us try doing that. This Onam was very special, and both our families (my parents and TW's parents) were to celebrate this year together. Onam was a damp affair last year due to the state's biggest deluge in history.

I had missed the booking dates for taking a train - trains were sold out by the time I realised, and I had to keep my eyes open on bus bookings. Both the KSRTC's open their bookings 30 days before the journey date - I opened the website of Karnataka RTC on the date the reservation opened, and I found the entire bus was empty. I decided to wait till the return booking also open - booking both ways to…

Coimbatore to Bengaluru: Metrolink Travels BharatBenz Sleeper

I am still clueless why I had left booking tickets for this date. I had booked a ticket to head to Palakkad (by train, which was eventually cancelled and replaced with a bus from Chennai) but hadn't booked any ticket for my return. I was expecting tickets to be available, and began looking for tickets quite late. By then, my favorite bus from Palakkad was already sold out, and special buses had tickets going at astronomical rates. Buses from Coimbatore were no different - I had no choices from there either. I realised that some operators hadn't opened bookings, and I had to take the risk of waiting for them. As the date neared, I found that Metrolink travels, a new player on the route, had opened bookings. The lower berths were gone already, and I could get a single upper berth instead.

September 02, 2019:
It was a rainy day. It continued drizzling even as it was evening. I had to leave early - I decided to leave early to avoid getting stuck in traffic on the way. This turned …

Chennai to Coimbatore: VigneshTAT AC Sleeper

This decision to book on VigneshTAT was quite straightforward. I did have come confusions before the booking went through though - the fares of different operators was one reason for the confusion. I wanted to try a particular service operated by VigneshTAT for a few reasons - one, they operated a MG Bus & Coach built 'LeeraZ' sleeper coach; second, the bus was built on a Tata LPO 1623 chassis (a new product in the market); third, it was a new operator for me. Fares listed on the website was on the higher side - I got a single lower berth blocked for me through a good friend, who also managed to get me a discount on the ticket price.

[Conflict of Interest: Although a discount was received on the ticket price, the operator, or their representatives, have not edited the content of this review, or mandated addition/deletion of any facts contained in this review]

August 31, 2019:
I had returned to my hotel room quite late in the evening. I had left from the place where I had w…

Bengaluru to Chennai: KSRTC Airavat Club Class via Chittoor

I was in quandary as I looked at tickets for Chennai from Bengaluru. I look at the plethora of options that listed on redbus - but the characteristic among them was that the fares remained high. I didn't want to pay a 4 digit sum for the small distance - quite out of curiosity, I headed to the KSRTC website and found very decent fares listed. I found this interesting option via Chittoor - I wanted to try this route, and this was the opportunity for me. I booked a window seat on the first row to enjoy the route as well!

August 30, 2019:
I had to leave office early for this bus - I took a taxi directly from office to Shantinagar bus station. I headed first to the restaurant nearby to have lunch. My bus entered the bus station as I was finishing my lunch (mine was the only departure at the time, thereby making it easy to understand that it was my bus). I received a message with the bus & crew details as I walked from the restaurant to the departure bay. A fairly old bus was doing…