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Showing posts from February, 2020

Solapur to Shirdi: MSRTC's all new Non-AC Seater cum Sleeper

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As I drew up plans to head to Shirdi after examination work at Bijapur, I looked at various options on the internet. No direct buses turned up - no trains either. I had the option of taking a train to Pune - but the train got there at a very odd hour, thus spoiling my sleep, plus getting me to Shirdi quite later in the day, which would make it a very tight visit. I recalled my journey to Shirdi the previous year, and it was a helluva experience getting to Shirdi from Pune - and I badly wanted to avoid repeating that experience this time (read it here, if you haven't read about it yet!). I briefly considered going via Hubli - but it seemed to add too much of traveling time. I looked at options from Solapur instead - two interesting options popped up - one was a Shivshahi seater coach, and the other was a non-ac seater-cum-sleeper coach. The second option quite grabbed my thoughts - I did a round of research on the internet to find if it was a new bus, or would I end up in a run do…

Bengaluru to Bijapur: VRL Volvo B9R Sleeper coach

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Bijapur was my second examination duty. The travel options to Bijapur (Vijayapura) was limited, just like Kalaburagi. There were, actually, a lot of options among non-AC buses - but I was specifically looking for AC buses. I decided to pick VRL, again, this time - their Volvo Sleeper instead of the seater, though. I was traveling on a Friday, and VRL had priced their Sleeper at a 50% premium - I had no choice, but to find out the best offers on the internet, and the ticket was booked using the Abhibus mobile application. 
January 31, 2020: I had spent almost the entire day trying to figure out which bus would be taking me to Vijayapura (Bijapur) that evening. A fairly newer bus had operated the route the previous night, and I had hopes of that repeating. The bus details were updated later in the evening - an older bus was listed, and I found it was converted from a seater coach to a sleeper coach by VRL's in-house workshop at Varur, Hubli. I was quite eager to see how it goes. 
I …

Kalaburagi to Yeshwantpur: Ahmedabad-Yeshwantpur Express

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I spotted this weekly Ahmedabad-Yeshwantpur express as I searched for tickets on the IRCTC website for my return journey after exam work at Kalaburagi (Gulbarga). I had seen the rake of this train multiple times in the past - this train has been running with LHB rakes since a very long time. I wanted to try this train - the timing seemed great and very convenient to me. It departed it a little before 1700hrs, and got to Bengaluru quite early in the morning - very convenient to have a short nape before heading to work. I checked with my counterpart at the college in Kalaburagi about the examination timings, and confirmed that we'd wrap it up by noon, before booking my ticket.

January 29, 2020:
The exam completed a little past noon. I was busy with some discussion with my accomplices there at the examination centre. We headed for a fairly late lunch - at the famous New Gurudutt Bhojanalaya, for some sumptuous Jolada Roti Oota (Lunch plate containing rotis (unleavened bread) made of …

Bengaluru to Kalaburagi: VRL Volvo B9R

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The exam season beckons again - another trip to Kalaburagi (Gulbarga). I was quite confused this time around - I was half minded about taking a train. However, trains were waitlisted, and this kinda reduced my confusion. Coming to buses, there were just two AC options - one is the tried and tested VRL, and the other was Orange. (I did not consider NEKRTC this time around - not a fan of the Corona, and getting a lower berth on the Corona is like a lottery). I did not fancy traveling by Orange - its a fairly old bus, and the fares were quite high. VRL was my call - I did not reserve my ticket until a few days before the journey though. I booked through my favorite booking site - did pocket a fairly good discount as well.

January 28, 2020:
I had been checking the VRL website since quite early in the day trying to find which bus would take me to Kalaburagi that evening. The bus number was updated a little after noon - a fairly older bus was allotted that day. I received messages from VRL…