My cousin had come for a holiday from the USA to Bengaluru and what better opportunity I had but to plan a quick backpack trip for a day from Bangalore to Jog Falls near Talguppa and Sagara (total of 399km approx). As a usual planner my go to destination for bus ticket bookings was RedBus.
My brother took up the bus booking and I managed the hotel booking, just to split the responsibility. This is where he suggested that we travel by the tried and tested KSRTC Airavat buses. Since a long time KSRTC has been providing transport to many states around Karnataka with their reliable Volvo and Scania buses.
Let us look at the top reasons for you to choose KSRTC over other private players for your travel specifically around Karnataka.
KSRTC buses mostly start from Majestic bus station at different times of the day. Many buses generally start near to midnight at or around 10:30 pm or so when the traffic within the city is a bit low so as to help them negotiate the exit from Bangalore. We had booked a ticket to Sagara in Karnataka and the bus departed exactly at 10:30 pm sharp.
Arrival time is also on the mark and they generally arrive at destinations on or earlier to the said time most of the times barring those times when there is some serious blockage on the roads which is beyond their control.
Online booking and cancellation facility
Though until sometime the online booking experience was not that great, these days the whole process is flawless. You can book tickets on the government portal of KSRTC. You can also use the KSRTC PNR enquiry system to view your PNR status of the booked tickets. While returning from our trip, since we got a train ticket with IRCTC tatkal booking, we needed to cancel the bus ticket. We could do that using the KSRTC ticket cancellation online by just using our PNR number and transaction password printed on the ticket.
You can easily pick source and destination and it shows all the buses available, including a seat map with seats specifically reserved for ladies for safety purposes.
If you are frequent traveler you can create your own login at the KSRTC login online booking link. Here you can save your details and easily book tickets as and when you like without much fuss.
On the topic of refunds, you can check the KSRTC refund status at the same source you booked the ticket with (like your bank account, or credit card, etc)
There has always been one feather in the cap for KSRTC buses. And that is the reliability of the transport system. They undertake thousands of trips a year to different destinations and the drivers are familiar with the route and drive safely and within prescribed speed limits. They are careful on the road and one can hardly feel any discomfort while on their buses. The Volvo and Scania buses are comfortable and have decent amount of seat recline and space.
Facilities in the bus
You can get one or more water bottles depending on your use, they have a seat recline system which is decent and almost horizontal. There is also a blanket for you in case you feel cold. The airconditioning system has vents that are easy to close and open and you can precisely set an air flow pattern that you desire. Just to let you know about the comfort, we were sitting on the last two seats of the bus and rarely felt any jerk for the whole journey.
Compared to the Scania the Volvo buses are slightly more comfortable since the Scania buses sometimes lets in the road bumps filter into the cabin, but having said this – there is nothing seriously wrong with either variety of transport
The buses look modern and clean, and you do not get a feeling you are getting into a rickety old bus at any point in time. Buses are neat, seats look new and well kept and the water, blankets are all well arranged.
Cost of Travel
The cost of travel is pretty reasonable compared to private players. Depending on the class of travel – normal, airavat or diamond class – the cost for our trip from Bangalore to Sagar varied between Rs.340/- to Rs.580/- which is in my opinion very effective for that distance.
If you are a senior citizen KSRTC has a special discount for you as well, you can see the rules on this link(section IV & V).
So what are you waiting for? Decide your destination, hop on to a KSRTC Airavat and sleep like a baby !