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Old 11th January 2013, 08:36   #2476
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I think you had a one off Binaiks. My daughter just spoke to me and seemed to be very happy about her G4 experience (the same Kottayam bus you took). I want her to switch to KaSRTC but for a newbie in BLR and who cannot board from Shantinagar, for the time being private operators like G4 seems to be the safer option ex Madiwala as atleast there is someplace to wait unlike KaSRTC where you have to wait at St Johns in the BMTC stop.

Good thing about this agent I use (Zam Zam at Alwaye ) is that those guys do know most times exactly where a particular bus is getting held up so atleast there is no lack of information. They also have an agency for the KaSRTC buses although if you are travelling KaSRTC it is better to book your return as well from BLR and make use of the discount since they have a boarding point at Aluva. Never been let down even once by KaSRTC m in terms of missed pick up etc althought sometimes I have been the only pax to board from there.
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Old 11th January 2013, 15:48   #2477
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
I think you had a one off Binaiks. My daughter just spoke to me and seemed to be very happy about her G4 experience (the same Kottayam bus you took). I want her to switch to KaSRTC but for a newbie in BLR and who cannot board from Shantinagar, for the time being private operators like G4 seems to be the safer option ex Madiwala as atleast there is someplace to wait unlike KaSRTC where you have to wait at St Johns in the BMTC stop.
I am a regular on G4's operations ex-Bangalore - never once has G4 let me down in their operations ex-Bangalore. I always suggest G4 for anybody traveling out of Bangalore, and I had even booked tickets for my boss twice in G4, and both the times he was impressed with the service - once my contacts even arranged a good seat for him on a peak day.

I had tried G4 on the TVM-Bangalore route, and I was satisfied with that too. But both my experience with G4 at Thrissur has been poor - the first time, I went to send off my dad, and that time too there was no information about the where the bus was or when it would reach. The experience was the same during my journey too.

Can you share what time your daughter reached Bangalore?

I booked G4 with a lot of expectations (based on my experiences ex-Bangalore), but they failed me badly. What ever, the issue has been informed to the owners directly, and they have promised to take some corrective issues - including altering the timings to reflect some reality and also providing phone number of the crew.
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Old 11th January 2013, 17:09   #2478
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Sankranti time and the tatkal was a dream for anybody. To me as well. Tried for today and tomorrow with no luck. With no other choice, was hunting buses in redbus and as per the reviews chose Sri Krishna Travels from Hyderabad to Chennai from LB Nagar. There were other travels like omer/sardar but since the ratings were bad, didnt chose them.

Has anyone used this travels? Any reviews? I am travelling alone tomorrow. And the bus is Volvo A/C MultiAxle Semisleeper (2+2)
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Old 11th January 2013, 18:45   #2479
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Can you share what time your daughter reached Bangalore?
*****

Binai, it was 6 AM when she reached and she seemed happy about the service. This was the bus which left 2115 at Aluva, so I guess the earlier bus would have reached before that. Now she has two more trips coming up and both are on G4 on the Pathanapuram service.

Infact I will be frank that it is mainly thanks to your feedback on this website as well as your blog and also some of the feedback given by the owners representative elsewhere in the net which I found quite proactive that I have asked her to book on G4, an operator I have not used myself. And ex BLR she has booked using Friends Travels as suggested by "Cool Clouds" and I believe you also use them .

It also helps that Zam Zam travels which I have been using for years at Aluva (just like some of you use Friends Travels) always seems to know where exactly the private buses they issue tickets on is getting held up if it is running late (they mention clearly that they cannot do the same for KaSRTC if you book through them). I guess it is the agent of G4 at Trichur which is letting them down. Maybe you should board ex Aluva where both Zam Zam and Sona, the two main agents are equally competent (but again they may not be obliged to help you if you are booking direct- the only operator with its own office in ALuva is Suresh Kallada but I have never booked through that office).

From my side now the priorities are only choosing an operator who is reliable . Now that Bharathi is no longer there and Parveen and VRL does not operate on Bangalore Kerala, there are not too many good operators left. Sharma,KPN , SRS are all hit and miss and the only SRM service reaches too early at Aluva .
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Old 12th January 2013, 10:20   #2480
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Default A ride on Kallada's Volvo B11R, on its maiden run

Kallada Tours and Travels (Suresh Kallada) is the first operator to take delivery of the Volvo 9400PX (Volvo B11R) in India. This bus is touted to be Asia's longest intercity coach. They took delivery of their first Volvo B11R on January 08, 2013 (second bus was delivered on January 10, 2013). The buses run on the Bangalore-Kollam (Via Alappuzha) route.

I had expressed my desire to be on the first trip to some important people on S.Kallada when the news of them taking the B11R surfaced for the first time. I was surprised when I got a message from the person that they are taking the delivery and he informed me on phone that he has blocked a seat for me as well. Nothing can be better than this.

The bus: KA-01-AC-0040, Volvo 9400PX (B11R) (334kms on the odo)
Date: January 11, 2013
Seat: #3 (First row, left side aisle seat)

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Timeline of the journey:
Madiwala - 2030/2107
Electronic City Toll - 2131 pass
Attibelle Border - 2155/2200
Zuzuwadi TN (Incoming) Check post - 2210/2219
Hosur - 2229/2231 (S.Kallada office opposite to bus station)
Shoolagiri - 2253/2326 (Petrol Pump - Dinner and Refueling)
Perundurai - 0253/0308 (the regular Kallada fuel station - Refueling)
Walayar - 0455/0520 (Check Post)
Palakkad bypass (Chandranagar) - 0541
Mannuthy (Thrissur Bypass) - 0658

A total of 87 minutes was lost waiting at various places. Since the bus was on its maiden run, the bus had to stop at Attibelle to pay tax, and then again at Zuzuwadi checkpost for verification. The bus also needed to take a prolonged break at Walayar for tax payment - the fact that this vehicle was a "new model", the officers took their sweet time to accept payment. They had to stop the bus twice for refueling - at the first place (Shoolagiri) they filled fuel for some Rs 9000, then they topped up fuel at their regular place in Perundurai (that place is a heaven for Kallada lovers - there were some 5 multis including mine at that point of time). They also took a dinner break at Shoolagiri (thankfully, they stopped at a good place not that awful Uthaiyah). The departure from Madiwala itself was 36 minutes late (thanks to the inauguration - they distributed sweets to all passengers, informing individually that this is a new bus and this was the first trip) - to top up, one passenger turned up royally late.

Blankets were distributed in sealed packets (they claim the blanket will not be reused without washing/dry-cleaning - they had loaded 2 seats of blankets) along with 1ltr bottle of water and a 50g packet of Good Day biscuits (they said that these would be a standard feature in the B11R).

The end-to-end running time was bad - a good 9:51hrs for around 468kms. This includes the 87minutes (1:27hrs) lost waiting at various places - so the actual running time was only 8:24hrs, which is a decent running time. Shoolagiri to Perundurai is about 220-odd kms, which the bus covered in a shade over 3 hrs (there was horrible traffic upto Salem, due to Pongal vacatins), and Perundurai to Walayar (about 110-odd kms) covered in about 1:40hrs, almost entirely through two-lane roads (the bus took Chengampalli-Tiruppur-Palladam-CBE Bypass route).

This time, the crew were very careful about not wasting time - they did not indulge in unwanted chatter during breaks, no unwanted tea breaks - I really liked the crew. Both were in uniform - drove really well - no honks at night, and no hard braking.

About the bus: It is one brilliant product - the ride quality is improved over the B9R. The turning radius has improved seriously well - the bus took tight 90* turns in Tiruppur without any fuss (they did not have to reverse or even stop and see - it just glided through). The bus handled well on the 270* turn at Salem Flyover too - the driver took it at a fairly decent speed - there was no body roll, and the driver said he felt very confident with the way the bus handled. Top speed recorded was around 102kmph.

Some miscl points:
1. There was some issue with the DVD player - it kept switching off on itself.
2. There is no curtain seperating the crew section and the passenger section - I had an almost sleepless night with all the glare on my face. This model has a lot of FRP cladding in the driver cabin - there is no way they could put up the bracket for installing the curtain. They are working around an alternative - so curtains wouldn't be there for another couple of trips.
3. The bus has three drop down LCD panels. Speakers are the standard Volvo type installed in each passenger console. The mixer/amp unit is mounted on the driver dash itself.
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Old 12th January 2013, 16:18   #2481
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Need to travel to Chidambaram in the last week of January. There is a direct Kesineni which reaches Chidamabaram at around 10 am. I would like to explore any other option to reach earlier than that. Is there any other choice like going to Vellore by 4 am? will it help if i take buses from there to Villupuram and then to Chidambaram. Any idea on the bus frequencies in this routes. Any pointers would really be appreciated? Thanks.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:17   #2482
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Is there a difference in ticket fare between B9R and B11R? Understand there is reduced takers for B11R, as it was offering not so interesting value proportion. 20 lks for 4 additional seats was way too high.
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Old 13th January 2013, 11:45   #2483
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Is there a difference in ticket fare between B9R and B11R? Understand there is reduced takers for B11R, as it was offering not so interesting value proportion. 20 lks for 4 additional seats was way too high.
They are charging Rs. 50~100 more than the regular services - but the difference depends on the day as well - one some days the rates are the same for B11R and B9R.

From their first run, it seems the bus is giving better mileage than the B9Rs - the iShift is really making a difference for the driver. For the operator, there is an almost 50% increase in luggage space (around 40% extra). I was in the first row, so not sure of the extra legspace, but heard someone saying that the legspace is increased - so many passengers may prefer this bus over the 9R.
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Old 13th January 2013, 18:32   #2484
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Slightly off topic... the good old double decker of KeSRTC is still doggedly running between Angamaly and Vytilla!!!! would like to rename it as the "shopping mall express"... Megamart after Kalamaserry, now Lulu about to start at the Edapally Byepass, then Oberon followed by Gold Souk and finally the Megamart at Vytilla!!! Luggage is no issue as bus is half empty most of the time. And it doesn't get into the pocket roads at HMT and Kalamassery like the Volvos do nor does it go into Aluva town.

Last edited by TKMCE : 13th January 2013 at 18:33.
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Old 14th January 2013, 08:17   #2485
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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
Need to travel to Chidambaram in the last week of January. There is a direct Kesineni which reaches Chidamabaram at around 10 am. I would like to explore any other option to reach earlier than that. Is there any other choice like going to Vellore by 4 am? will it help if i take buses from there to Villupuram and then to Chidambaram. Any idea on the bus frequencies in this routes. Any pointers would really be appreciated? Thanks.
Depending on how early you could leave, why not look at booking one of the Hyderabad-Salem volvos, you have a lot of options from 4PM onwards, the ones leaving Hyderabad around 4 should reach Salem around 3 AM.

You would have buses to Vridachalam, Cuddalore every 30 minute or so alternatively if you are not averse to hopping you could go via Athur - Ulundurpet to Vridachalam which could take you about 30/45 minutes extra but would have buses every 10 minutes.

Once you reach Vridachalam you can reach Chidambaram with buses every 15 minutes or so in about an hour. So theoretically you could reach Vridachalam in about 5 hours max from Salem.

I doubt if you could reach faster by opting to get off at Vellore, because the Kesineni Multi I assume goes via Vellore on its way to Chidambaram.
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Old 14th January 2013, 14:18   #2486
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Depending on how early you could leave, why not look at booking one of the Hyderabad-Salem volvos, you have a lot of options from 4PM onwards, the ones leaving Hyderabad around 4 should reach Salem around 3 AM.

I doubt if you could reach faster by opting to get off at Vellore, because the Kesineni Multi I assume goes via Vellore on its way to Chidambaram.
Hi Srikanth,

Thanks for the suggestion. I never thought of this route. But I donot think I will be able to go through that route. I am going to stick on to the Diwakar Pondy bus who is promising to drop in pondy by 6 am. I think from Pondy Chidambaram will be couple of hours. While coming I am going to book Kesineni chidambaram - hyderabad volvo. Will keep posted about the timings and bus after i make the trip.
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Old 15th January 2013, 05:27   #2487
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Still to recover from the shock - KaSRTC dropped me in Bangalore well before schedule.

Did a Thrissur-Bangalore journey in the 2131TRCBNG Airavat Club Class service last night. The bus (KA-01-F-9346) left from Thrissur at 2138hrs (7mins late). The conductor was a typical KSRTC guy - there were some 11 seats reserved ex-Palakkad. He filled up Thrissur-Palakkad seats in all those, and even managed to get two Bangalore passengers for two seats where reserved passengers did not turn up!! Initially the driver too was typical KaSRTC style - lugging the engine all the time, and the poor engine was crying for mercy. I was on Seat #16, and I could clearly hear the engines cries. He became possessed shortly after crossing Mannuthy - on the pothole ridden roads, he was literally ripping, overtaking vehicles at ease.

Reached Palakkad at 2301hrs (Scheduled time 2250hrs), picked up the 11 passengers and got moving at 2304hrs. After Palakkad, the driver was a total road ripper. He becomes possessed at times when he would honk to glory and keep overtaking vehicles, and sometimes he'd get very sober - at this point he'd lug the engine. The driver was not drunk for sure - he did not smell of alcohol. I had one deep continuous sleep after the bus got on to the 4-laned section after Chengappalli (near Perundurai). I woke up sometime when the bus stopped for break - did not bother to see where we were. I woke up at 0400hrs again - we were just passing Krishnagiri Toll. I slept again, and woke up suddenly hearing the radio come alive playing Suprabhatham! The conductor shouted out "Electronic City"... The clock showed "0503". Nobody to get off. Lights were left on. I was dropped at Bommanahalli at 0510hrs!! A whole hour before my anticipated arrival time!! The bus has a scheduled arrival time of 0615hrs at Majestic (KBS) - I am sure the bus would've reached before 0600hrs!

I am still to recover from the shock of the bus reaching before time - the last time, the service (its opposite service - 2111BNGTRC) took 1.5hrs more than the already long running time, and it really scared me off KaSRTC. If my experience with KaSRTC remains positive during my the 25-27Jan weekend trip too, I am sure to make KaSRTC my preferred choice for by Thrissur-Bangalore runs (I'd prefer Kallada G4 for the opposite direction).
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Old 15th January 2013, 08:31   #2488
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The driver must have been the same character a couple of us experienced on the Ernakulam Airavath service.. In my case the 2035 Ernakulam reached at 0625 in Majestic. But dont depend on KaSRTC too much for an early arrival. I used to take the 1828 Ernakulam Bangalore Merc which is supposed to lave Trichur bus staiton at 20 15 but leaves mostly around 9 PM. Most times I have reached Majestic only around 7 AM. I take them for their sane driving (I am no fan of road racing) and the convenience of the arrival at Majestic.


How about the 9 PM Kodungallur Bangalore Multi Axle of Suresh Kallada??? I believe this one leaving at 9PM is one of the earliest overnight Multi Axles from Trichur via Salem(the KaSRTC Merc from Ernakulam is theoretically the earliest). Does the Kodungallur service have a good reliability in terms of an early arrival at Bangalore ?
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Old 15th January 2013, 09:14   #2489
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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How about the 9 PM Kodungallur Bangalore Multi Axle of Suresh Kallada??? I believe this one leaving at 9PM is one of the earliest overnight Multi Axles from Trichur via Salem(the KaSRTC Merc from Ernakulam is theoretically the earliest). Does the Kodungallur service have a good reliability in terms of an early arrival at Bangalore ?
This one normally reaches Bangalore by 0600hrs - not always true. The scheduled arrival is 0530hrs. The drawback is that the bus leaves from Kodungallur at 1900hrs, but leaves Thrissur only at 2100hrs - wastes a full 2 hrs for a 38kms run. Often, they send pick-up van to Kodungallur while the bus waits at Irinjalakkuda.

The rates are too unpredictable during weekends too - it is Rs. 1260 at times, sometimes it goes up to Rs. 1600 - that is too much for a 480kms run - and I am not ready to shell that kind of money for the small distance.
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Old 15th January 2013, 11:10   #2490
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Still to recover from the shock - KaSRTC dropped me in Bangalore well before schedule...
I'm in a similar shock. Boarded the KaSRTC 2135 PGT-BNG Multi-axle Volvo (KA-01-F-9354) last night. There was some confusion at the time of boarding, as there were some people who'd booked on a 21:45 special service and boarded this bus by mistake. After clearing up all the confusion, the bus left Palakkad at 21:45hrs.

The bus stopped for a tea break at Madukkarai (I don't understand why they stop for tea, within an hour of starting the trip. They stop at this same place on the way to Palakkad too, even if the bus is running very late, which happens almost all the time), at 22:35hrs. Until this point, the driver was lugging the engine, and I was not able to sleep properly. Now he started driving in the correct gears, and the engine noise was bearable (I was in the last row, VIP seat, #47M). I slept continuously till about 02:45 when they stopped at the infamous Uthaiya hotel near Krishnagiri. Nobody got down, except the driver and conductor. Resumed the journey at 03:05hrs. Got dropped at Madiwala at 04:20hrs. I didn't find the driving rash, nor did I hear many honks. I was not thrown off my seat too. So, full marks for the driving.

This bus usually reaches Madiwala at around 05:30hrs, almost along with the KSRTC 21:00 PLKD-BLR Super Deluxe. Once the Super Deluxe had dropped me in Madiwala at 04:30hrs too, but that was one possessed driver, who used the brakes only when he was left with no other choice. I've changed my loyalty these days to KaSRTC, because the ageing Super Deluxe buses of KSRTC rattle a lot and the suspension also leaves a lot to be desired.

Last edited by silversteed : 15th January 2013 at 11:14.
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