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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

KSRTC Airavat Volvo experience : Bangalore to Pune route

After taking the MSRTC Shiveri Volvo from Pune to Davanagere (read HERE), I took KSRTC's Airavat Volvo back to Pune. The booking was done online and I had to pay the complete Bangalore-Pune fare for my Davanagere-Pune journey - Rs 923. I got seat no 1 : my favorite seat.

Although the ticket mentioned the departure time to be 7:35pm, having taken this bus on numerous occasions, I knew it wouldnt come before 8:00pm. And i was right - it came only at 8:15pm.
Being a weekday, the bus wasnt full. The good thing was that seat no 2 was empty which meant I had a relaxing time all the way to Pune. The bus took a 30min dinner break around 1hr from Davanagere. On the way, it got into the towns of Hubli and Belgaum, there by losing around 30min. Operators like VRL and Sharma dont do this.
According to my GPS, the driver kept the bus around the 85-90km/h - i have noticed this on earlier occasions as well.
The good thing about KSRTC as compared to VRL and Sharma is that they enter Pune city. I was dropped off at Swargate bus station at 5:15am, ie, it took us 9 hours for the journey including getting into Hubli and Belgaum as well as a dinner stop. Quite decent.
Another good thing was that unlike my past experience with VRL and Sharma, the driver and conductor were quite, not talking and thus not disturbing the passengers.

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6 comments:

Ritesh Jha said...

I used KSRTC last week for my Bangalore to Mumbai travel. I am tall and didnt know about the more rows-less space issue on this bus. The 18 hour journey turned out to be a bad one! Next time, it has to be the Sharma multiaxle for me

Popeye - The technical blogger said...

Nice post.
One reason why the driver/Helper were quiet, could be possibly they had a fight over a beer that evening :)

Bhushan kale said...

Hi,

I got to experience the KSRTC volvo twice from Bangalore to Pune and was forced to travel in the VRL volvo from PUNE to Bangalore on one ocassion.
On the first ocassion from Bangalore to Pune, i took the 1700 hrs BNGPNA B7R volvo. My seat was 33 and this was my first ever experience on a volvo as i usually do not travel in buses as i am road sick. Due to a delayed meeting, i started from my office in Whitefield at 15:30 and took 15:43 BMTC volvo to Majestic. I had almost given up the hopes of getting the KSRTC volvo as people had told me about notorious Bangalore traffic. The BMTC volvo made it to Majestic at 17:10 and i ran towards the KSRTC bus stand. Thankfully the bus was still there and i got in and occupied my seat. The bus was full and started at 17:18.
At first i was a bit nervous about this journey but as time passed by, i started getting comfortable. The driver and the conductor were indeed quiet and soon they served us with water bottles and put on a Kannada movie which i could not understand. So i started looking out. The bus was moving at the pace of a tortoise in the traffic and it could only speed up by 1900 hrs. Finally we made it to Kamat Upchar at around 21:30 for a dinner halt. By this time the kannada movie had ended and 'Welcome' had started. So you can imagine the delay.
Dinner halt was sharp for 0.5 hrs and the bus started again. Heavy rains were lashing the city despite which the bus was speeding very well. I soon went to sleep and got up straight away at 02:30 am when we had reached Belgaum bus stand. We started from there in less than 2 minutes and i again went to sleep, next time waking up at 03:20 at Nipani. Since i was unfamiliar to the route, i thought it might take 5-6 hours more for Pune and the bus was invariably late.
However, i went on to sleep now and was waken up when the bus reached hotel Nataraj sharp at 6 am. I asked the conductor as to how long would it take for Pune and i was so delighted to hear 0.5 hrs. The bus left Nataraj exactly at 06:42 and exactly took 0.5 hrs to reach Swargate. I got down at Swargate at 07:12 am. Overall, it took 13 hrs 54 min from Bangalore to Pune, interiors were nice, no air-con sound intrusion and overall a very smooth ride.

Bhushan Kale said...

Hi,

I got to experience the KSRTC volvo twice from Bangalore to Pune and was forced to travel in the VRL volvo from PUNE to Bangalore on one ocassion.
On the first ocassion from Bangalore to Pune, i took the 1700 hrs BNGPNA B7R volvo. My seat was 33 and this was my first ever experience on a volvo as i usually do not travel in buses as i am road sick. Due to a delayed meeting, i started from my office in Whitefield at 15:30 and took 15:43 BMTC volvo to Majestic. I had almost given up the hopes of getting the KSRTC volvo as people had told me about notorious Bangalore traffic. The BMTC volvo made it to Majestic at 17:10 and i ran towards the KSRTC bus stand. Thankfully the bus was still there and i got in and occupied my seat. The bus was full and started at 17:18.
At first i was a bit nervous about this journey but as time passed by, i started getting comfortable. The driver and the conductor were indeed quiet and soon they served us with water bottles and put on a Kannada movie which i could not understand. So i started looking out. The bus was moving at the pace of a tortoise in the traffic and it could only speed up by 1900 hrs. Finally we made it to Kamat Upchar at around 21:30 for a dinner halt. By this time the kannada movie had ended and 'Welcome' had started. So you can imagine the delay.
Dinner halt was sharp for 0.5 hrs and the bus started again. Heavy rains were lashing the city despite which the bus was speeding very well. I soon went to sleep and got up straight away at 02:30 am when we had reached Belgaum bus stand. We started from there in less than 2 minutes and i again went to sleep, next time waking up at 03:20 at Nipani. Since i was unfamiliar to the route, i thought it might take 5-6 hours more for Pune and the bus was invariably late.
However, i went on to sleep now and was waken up when the bus reached hotel Nataraj sharp at 6 am. I asked the conductor as to how long would it take for Pune and i was so delighted to hear 0.5 hrs. The bus left Nataraj exactly at 06:42 and exactly took 0.5 hrs to reach Swargate. I got down at Swargate at 07:12 am. Overall, it took 13 hrs 54 min from Bangalore to Pune, interiors were nice, no air-con sound intrusion and overall a very smooth ride.

Bhushan Kale said...

On the second ocassion, i took the same bus from Bangalore with the same seat 33 and this time it left at 17:09 and was a 8400 bus. This time it made to kamat upchar at 19:40 and i thought this bus would make it to Swargate pretty early. However, the bus wasnt full and hence it entered the Hubli and waited on the bus stand for long in search of passengers. I checked that the bus had reached Belgaum at 02:30 and Nipani at 03:40. I was very curious to see as to when does it reach Nataraj. But to my dismay, it reached Nataraj at 06:45and started at 07:10. This made it to reach Swargate at 07:42. This means that it got late somewhere enroute. It took 14 hrs 33 minutes from Bangalore to Pune. However, the interiors were nice, speed was nice and no air-con intrusion again.

Bhushan Kale said...

Now once when i had to go back to Bangalore, i was forced to take the 20:15 VRL volvo from Pune to Bangalore. I reached the VRL pick up point at 19:40 and ultimately found out that we had to be transported in a mini van from there to Katraj. Ultimately we reached katraj and after all the preliminary checking, the bus started at 20:50. Soon came Natraj, and our bus halted there for 50 minutes for dinner, sheer waste of time. It left and i went to sleep. Got up at 03:50 am sharp when the bus had halted in the city of Hubli. It left at 04:00 am and i again went to sleep. I woke up this time at around 8 am when the bus was at VRL hotel somewhere past Davanagere. It left from there at 08:40 and finally reached Bangalore at 11:40. I noticed that this bus had calf-support which KSRTC buses do not have. However, this bus also had bad bad air-con sound. It was terrible. The bus took 14 hrs 50 minutes from Pune to Bangalore. And we were not given a water bottle.

All in all, i would always prefer and recommend the KSRTC volvo over any private operators.

Regards,
Bhushan Kale