It was yet another weekend in the month of March 2021. This time I planned to travel to Mangaluru by KSRTC’s Airawata Club Class, a premier air-conditioned bus service. I intended to travel to Mangaluru as it was my first visit in ten years. This trip was also my first day-time trip by bus to Mangaluru which offered me a glimpse of western ghats originating after Sakaleshpura town.
I started my day as early as 3 am. I quickly freshened up with a cup of coffee prepared by my mother. My bus was scheduled to leave from Kempegowda Bus Stand from platform 2A at 06.05 am. Hence I had to start early from my home in order to be at the bus terminal in time. I started off from my home at 4.30 am. It was a cool and serene morning with a sense of freshness in the air. Soon I reached the bus terminal and parked my Jupitor in the parking lot. I started to walk towards platform 2A.
I could see many buses lined up at the main road upon arriving from various destinations to reach Bengaluru’s Kempegowda Bus Stand. Platform 2 was bust with buses heading towards Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru. I spotted a neatly furnished and well-maintained Airwata Club Class Multi Axle bus to Shivamogga ready to leave the bus terminal at 06.00 am. As also there were many Karnataka Sarige buses lined up to reach various destinations en route Shivamogga and Chikkamagalauru.
The Journey Begins
I reached the designated platform 2A of Kempegowda Bus Stand. The platform had two Karnataka Sarige buses line up towards Kundapura and Mangaluru via Hassan. As usual, the crowd was very less as it was early morning-bound buses.
Next, I spotted my Airawata Club Class Multi-Axle bus parked opposite the bus platform bay. The beast was ready to occupy the platform. Soon at 5.45 am, the bus made its way to the platform. I was the first person to board the bus and quickly occupied the reserved seat in the front row. I had chosen this seat as this would give me a glimpse of the outside world through the huge windshield and I could enjoy my journey very well. The bus was neatly maintained with no room for any complaints. Passengers soon filled up to occupy the vacant seats. It was now time for departure at 06.05 am. The bus slowly made its way to the main road from the platform.
The bus had its designated pick-up points at Navarang Circle-Gorguntepalya Bus Stop and Jalahalli Cross. However, there were no passengers to board the bus. A couple of passengers was picked by crew near Govardhan Theatre, opposite to Yeswantpur Railway Station.
Terrain Road Section
Soon we made our first rest stop at Kamat Yatrinivas in an unknown town. All the passengers got down to have a quick break. As I was hungry, I ordered for Idly-Vada and a freshly brewed coffee. It was a wholesome breakfast and I enjoyed it very much. After a brief 20-minute break the bus started off again on National Highway 75. En route I made an inquiry with the crew and came to know that the bus originated from Tirupathi overnight and has a brief halt at Bengaluru before proceeding to Mangaluru. At 9.30 am our bus made its way to serene Hassan city and soon we arrived at Hassan KSRTC bus stand. The crew made a brief 10-minute stop at Hassan KSRTC bus stand and two passengers boarded the bus. We then made our way out of the bus terminal after a brief halt.
The road to Sakleshpura from Hassan was undergoing a major overhaul. It was being converted from a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway. Thus, our bus had to slow down owing to major repair works being undertaken en route to Sakleshpura. The bus had otherwise an uneventful run-up to Sakleshapura. Also, one could spot huge plantations after Hassan before entering Sakleshpura, as this indicated the origin of Sahyadri or the Western Ghats.
The bus made its way to Sakleshpur town at 11 am and had a brief halt. After a brief halt at Sakleshpura, we then headed to our next stop at Uppinangadi and later to Mangaluru. The road to Uppinangadi from Sakleshpura was a ghat road section. One could witness beautiful nature along the road. The road also had tricky hairpin bends which the crew negotiated carefully to take a turn. The ghat road is popularly known as Shirady Ghat with steep curves and turns.
This section also witnessed many multi-axle oil tankers arriving from Mangaluru en route to Bengaluru. As Mangalauru city has a petroleum refinery, thus one could spot many oil and petroleum multi-axle tankers. The Shirady Ghat section gave a beautiful and picturesque view of the Western Ghats or Sahyadri Hill range. One could spot water streams, oil pipeline constructions, and the railway lines to Mangaluru along the path.
Arriving at Mangaluru
Soon we reached the edge of Shirady Ghat and entered Uppinangadi town. Two passengers who boarded from Bengaluru and Hassan alighted at this town. From Uppinangadi onwards the path was a four-lane highway. One could also spot buildings and concrete structures indicating the end of the ghat section. The route to Mangaluru from Uppinangadi was very busy with heavy traffic. The traffic was owing to the weekend rush and our entry into the urban landscape from the ghat section.
The bus made its way slowly to the city of Mangaluru. Some of the passengers alighted enroute at designated stops within Mangaluru city. Soon my destination at Mangaluru KSRTC bus stand arrived at around 2 pm. The bus was late by an hour owing to weekend traffic, terrain road, and repair works being undertaken between Hassan and Sakaleshpura.
Overall I was satisfied with the service provided by KSRTC. The journey was smooth with the exception of road condition en route due to repair works and delay owing to the tricky ghat section. If an opportunity arises I will also travel to Mangaluru by another route via Mysuru-Mercera-Putturu.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.