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Archive for July, 2009

Airconditioned Volvo service to Bangalore Airport

Air-conditioned Volvo service to Bangalore Airport

Most Bangaloreans are already aware of this excellent Airport service provided by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) but, this blog is for the benefit of those tourists visiting this garden city.

Most of us living in Bangalore may not appreciate the efforts put in by BMTC to keep this service going since most of these buses run half full. We also tend to underestimate the convenience this service offers us until it’s take away. The best part is that these buses run at half hr intervals 24 hrs a day with 1 hr interval post 1.30am up to 4.30am due to low traffic.

With air travel becoming the norm for long distance travel, we have been using this bus service to ferry our friends, relatives and clients regularly and they all love it. These buses are punctual, clean, comfortable, reliable and most importantly, they are cheap. This is the cheapest mode of transport to and from the airport which is located about 36 kms from the city centre.

Bus bay at the Bangalore Airport

Bus bay at the Bangalore International Airport

An average ticket is priced between Rs 150 to Rs 250 ($2.5 – $4) for an A/c Volvo coach depending on the distance traveled, while a Meru Cab or Ola Cab would cost between Rs 600 to Rs 1,100 ($10 – $18) for the same distance. So if you are a group of three or over four members, it makes sense to use the bus (since a cab can carry only 4 people).

There are 11 routes which span across the city to reach every corner with designated pick up points. You can even source the mobile number of the bus conductor from the BMTC control room or at your nearest bus depot who will tell you exactly when the bus would arrive at your stop.

When the airport was inaugurated, most travelers complained about the distance and the infrastructure and said that Hyderabad airport was better in every count. But today, the connectivity that Bangalore airport has to the city is much better than Hyderabad (which is also located about 40kms from the city) or any other airport in India. Today, these Volvo buses even ferry non airport travelers who either travel to their work place or home which has helped increase revenues for the department.

You will find a detailed table of various bus routes the moment you get out of the airport at the bus bay or at the link below. The link below will help you with options such as bus timings, pick up points and rates for different locations.

http://www.mybmtc.com/airportservices

Airport Bus timings as of Feb 2015 available here: You can access the website here for timings and fares

We are receiving a lot of requests on the various pick-up points in the city and have stopped accepting them. Request you to download the entire route list by clicking on this link

You can also see the map of the various routes here Vayu Vajra Map

BMTC Contact Details:
BMTC airport kiosk information: Telephone No: 08027607989, Mobile: 7760991269
BMTC, Kempegowda Bus Stand: Telephone No: 2295 2311 / 2295 2314
BMTC, Shivajinagar Bus Stand: Telephone No: 2295 2321 / 2295 2324

Alternate modes of transport include certified Airport A/c cabs (Meru Cabs – 080 44224422, Mega Cabs – 080 47474747, Ola Cabs – 080 33553355, TaxiForSure – 080 60601010, Uber – via the app) which are also available right outside the airport & will pick you up from any part of the city. These cabs are metered and will provide a bill at the end of your journey. Fares vary from Rs 14/km for Indica vehicles (from TaxiForSure) and go upto Rs 20/km. You will also need to pay a toll of Rs 115 on your way back to the city from the airport.

For safety reasons, do not engage with the local touts who are always trying to fleece unsuspecting travelers landing in Bangalore.

Team GreatEscapes

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Having to travel on work, on a Sunday can be irksome to best of travel enthusiast especially so when the task one set out to accomplish remains undone.  This was my story having had to travel to Davangere at the end of a grilling long week at work. But this trip turned out to be different from what I imagined.

Driving back from Davangere we made a much needed & refreshing stopover at the 18th century  Seebi Narasimha Swamy Temple, this quite temple adjacent to the National Highway 4 can be easily missed but for a large board reading ‘Seebi’ on the median. This place is about 20km from Tumkur when driving towards Sira.

Seebi_1

This temple looks very plain and deceptively simple from the outside but hold your breath, for the beautiful stucco figures on the parapet will defy everything that you might imagine to see inside. Walls and ceilings are bountifully covered by paintings. While a majority of the paintings are in a sad state of affairs some still carry the tinge of delicacy and softness. Paintings, which can be called historical, have themes of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Dashavatara and are very similar to paintings in Daria Daulat Bagh, Srirangapatna. Some breathtaking stucco figures line the four walls of the outer parapet of the temple. These have survived the ravages of time and stand testimony to the eye for detail and excellence of the sculptors.

Seebi_2This temple is managed by a family of priests over the generations; they are now making an effort restore the sculptures & paintings of the temple to its original shape.  They have roped in sculptors from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) who have begun work of restoring the sculptures, but are yet to find quality professionals to restore the beautiful paintings.

Considering the lovely weather these days this would be a lovely day trip for those looking for a weekend drive from Bangalore.

Seebi_3

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It was a trip to a home stay at Srimangala (close to Iruppu falls), Coorg. We were travelling through the beautiful Nagarahole forest (Rajiv Gandhi National Park) and though we did not venture into the forest and kept pretty much to the motorable road – we did have hopes of sighting one of those big cats that had eluded us on our earlier trip to Bandipur!

About 10 odd kilometers into the park and surprise! We got to see a pair of sparkling eyes. But alas! it was a rather shy Indian Giant Squirrel also known as the Malabar Squirrel. (http://www.thewebsiteofeverything.com/weblog/pivot/entry.php?id=311 & http://www.care4nature.org/wildindia/squirrel.htm ) These animals are actually equally rare to spot and I was glad that I was able to click them before they disappeared in to the high canopy of the forest.

Giant Malabar Squirrel at Nagarhole forest

Giant Malabar Squirrel at Nagarhole forest

These beautiful squirrels grow up to 3 feet in length –and just their tails are around 2 feet long. They can leap a distance of about 6 meters or more. We spent a cool 10 minutes seeing them scampering around displaying their agility. It wasn’t a Tiger but it was sure a treat.

malabar_squirel_2

The rest of the drive was uneventful and we sighted nothing but some Spotted Deer and a lone Bison at a considerable distance –in fact some of us even ended up debating whether it was a buffalo or a bison 🙂

We finally reached the beautiful home stay at Srimangala that was our destination and were treated to a sumptuous coorgi meal (chicken curry, poputtu, nuputtu, mango curry, mutton dry etc) prepared by the couple who owned the place. The heavy meal, the lovely misty weather and the sight of the snug bamboo cottages had us heading straight for an afternoon siesta snuggled under the warm blankets.

The evening started with some piping hot coffee and we took some time taking in the beautiful scenery that lay in front of our cottages. The temperature had dipped further with a light spell of rain and the owners lit us a nice toasty bonfire – absolutely ideal for a relaxing evening with friends!

The next day we rose nice and early to explore the estate. A view point with bamboo benches amidst a canopy of trees seemed just right for a romantic rendezvous – and this inspired one of our pals to spend the better part of the morning sitting there under an umbrella, engaged in a marathon phone conversation with his fiancée.

Iruppu Falls in South Coorg

Iruppu Falls in South Coorg

The rest of us were a bit more adventurous and tried our hand at rafting in the small lake nearby. A visit to the famous Iruppu falls post another scrumptious meal wrapped up the trip.

Typical Coorgi Home

Typical Coorgi Home

The weekend was a complete stress buster and couldn’t have gone better. In fact, my 2 year old enjoyed the experience so much that she didn’t want to go back to Bangalore 🙂 – and neither did we!

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