“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Date of Journey: 20/11/2016
Service: KSRTC Airavat Diamond Class.
Distance: 1,010kms (appox)
This visit required not planning as visiting the shrine of sai baba was pending from quite some time. My friend did all the planning and it was time to depart towards Shirdi
Few weeks prior to booking the tickets on this bus, I checked redbus and found srs n vrl operating quite a few buses to Shirdi. But I zeroed in on KSRTC as always.
Time doesn't wait for none
As per initial plans, we both had selected the boarding points as navarang. However work caught up and I was left to board the bus in majestic.
Logging out from work, I made a dash to the nearest metro station from office and boarded a metro train to Majestic. The ride was quick and I reached Majestic with ten minutes to spare.
Familiar faces welcomed me and with the clock striking 1pm we began our journey. We slowly crawled out of the bus stand the bus slowly navigated through okalipuram junction and headed towards navarang. We reached there in no time. We picked up my friend and few more passengers and we headed further to fight the Bangalore traffic which was building waiting up ahead.
Meanwhile, I took a glance at the chart and found that the bus was not even half full. With the addition of chitradurga and davangere as the boarding points, we had few passengers boarding from davangere bypass.
Open tolls open highways
Thanks to the recent government orders, all tolls were open and free. This meant no waiting at toll gates. We passed the yeswanthpur tollway like a breeze and crossed the nelmangala tollway in seconds.
Hunger crept in and I was eager to know if KSRTC had finally changed the hotel. The answer was positive. We pulled over into Sri Ratnam hotel.
After a heavy meal, it was time to get some quick shut eyes. However, a ride in seat 1 and 2 takes away your sleep and keeps you glued to the open highway.
We reached Davangere bypass and picked up few more passengers and further pushed ahead. Few Kannada flicks kept the passengers entertained and very soon we reached kamat restaurant at Ranebennur. Few minutes into our stop, the fairly new kanva 9r joined us. The place was now crowded. We departed after a short break and rejoined the highway. Finally, I slipped into a deep slumber. The comfort and the driving style of KSRTC crew ensured a comfortable sleep. My friend woke me up for dinner as we were pulling into hotel Kaveri on the tip of Nippani ghat roads.
Few minutes into the break and the crown jewel of national travels, 'Aashiqui' B9R coming from mumbai joined us for dinner.
We finished our Dinner break and rejoined the highway. I decided to resume my sleep. At around 2:30am I woke up and headed upfront. The chilly cabin and the cold night was of no help. We soon pulled over after satara toll for a bio break. The crew change happened here and I decided to head back to resume my sleep.
When I woke up again, I found we had entered Ahmednagar as the bypass roads is in a bad shape. However, the road inside the town was of no help and the traffic sense of the motorists was making our driver less comfortable. The bad stretch, honking and sudden braking was not helping both the driver and the passengers. However we passed through the rough stretch.
“However distant my people may be, I draw them to me just as we pull a bird to us with a string tied to its foot.”
I woke up again only to find that we had almost reached Holiday park hotel, the last stop of our journey. Within no time we pulled into the hotel compound. I thanked the crew and bid good bye to crew.