Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hyderabad-Bangalore by bus:Comparison of various operators

As I’ve traveled several times between Hyderabad and Bangalore by bus, I share my experience with various bus operators, their services, punctuality, comfort and other aspects.

Current ticket prices: Volvo B7R AC buses: Rs 600 to Rs 700 depending on how early you book, seasons, operators etc. Non Volvo: Rs.300-400. Travel time: Volvo: 10-12 hours, Non Volvo: 14-15 hours.(depends on how much time they spend roaming inside city picking up passengers from various places)

Quickly jump to: Raj National Express| HKB| Gee Pee| Chennai-Hyderabad by Bus |3rd Party Online ticket booking websites |

We’ll compare various operators one by one

KSRTC Airavata (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation)

1. Precise punctuality (There will be supervisors in depots who ensure that buses leave on time to make space for other buses. They leave on time.

2. Maximum luggage safety. Luggage cabin once locked while leaving the origin will be opened after reaching destination only. While private operators having multiple pick up points open the luggage space multiple times, rearrange the baggage, may not have proper tagging system etc and hence relatively less safe.

3. They do introduce special services during popular seasons (with extra charges though)

4. Have good number of buses and can replace a bus in case of accident/breakdown etc. Private operators having very few number of buses wont have this advantage.

5. Transparent booking system. (While with private operators there’s every chance that they create an artificial shortage of tickets to sell them for high price last moment)

6. You're automatically entitled for Rs 1 lakh accident insurance with KSRTC when you buy tickets above Rs 20.

7. Government Bus terminals will have additional facilities like Public broadcasting system, drinking water, waiting room, toilets, shops etc which sometime come handy. Private operators who pick you up from roadside may not be able to give you all these.

8. Free journey in BMTC buses 2 hours prior to departure time, if you have valid KSRTC ticket

1. No pickups. You need to go to starting point and board the bus. (In Bangalore you can travel for free in BMTC buses 2 hours prior to scheduled departure if you have a reserved KSRTC ticket. Very few buses do start from places other than majestic)

2. Hesitate to play Kannada movies. (While APSRTC happily plays telugu movies, KSRTC often plays Hindi movies for Hyderabad Bangalore journey)

3. Some Airavata Volvo B7Rs are older than recently purchased buses of private operators. One Volvo was leaking water last year.

4. Cancellation charges are deducted without hesitation. (Private operators often entertain rescheduling requests (like cancel today’s ticket and post pone for tomorrow) without charging extra.)

5. Official luggage charges are expensive.

6. KSRTC has volunteered to get speed governors on its buses- this might make the journey a bit safe but will increase travel time.

October 2009 update: A friend survives a KSRTC Volvo bus accident- read his experiences.

APSRTC Garuda:

Almost similar to KSRTC, no major differences. (one of the comments indicate that Garuda experience is very bad compared to KSRTC)

Raj National Express:

1. Excellent punctuality

2. Well established name in travel industry. Raj has operations all over India.

3. They do play Hindi movies usually compared to telugu ones in most of the other operators.
Raj National express bus inside view of a seat
1. Limited pick up. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday they offer pickup from Madhapur and Gachibowli while rest of the days you need to go to Mehdipatnam.

2. Some buses are quite uncomfortable-The hand rest between the seats has an protruding object (looks like 12v battery charger) which causes lots of inconvenience while sleeping.

Aslo: Few quick facts about Raj National Travels: Owns over 104 AC coaches (Volvo + Tata Globus mainly), 29 Own departure lounges, Operations in 14 states (Covering left half of India) connecting various cities from Cochin to Jammu, Runs 172 departures and 5000 passengers per day on 132 routes. Raj claims to have served over one million passengers so far.

HKB Tours and Travels:

I don’t know what HKB stands for. I asked the driver-even he didn’t know.

Not that punctual. But once while I was traveling, an elderly gentleman (who seemed like Bus owner or manager etc) boarded the bus, distributed chips and biscuits to all passengers and wished them happy journey. Never experienced that with any other operator.

Gee Pee:

They have sleeper coach Volvo buses wherein you can sleep on 180 degree flat beds and travel. Quite comfortable.

But beware, if you get sitting seats journey will be horrible. No place to keep luggage, not enough place to stretch your legs and arms, very little space above your head. So insist and cross verify that it is sleeper berth and not regular seats. Also Gee Pee is pathetic when comes to punctuality. If one seat is vacant they don’t mind waiting 2 hours to get a passenger for that seat, and by the time they leave the city limits it can be past midnight. If you have to go to office next day, avoid Gee Pee.
busCaution on Private Non AC buses: All operators try to carry as much cargo as possible on top of the bus. (See image) When they load excess cargo, the bus will not be able to clear some height barriers in the city and chances are that they make lame excuses and try to offload passengers at city outskirts (like near Hebbal instead of going till Majestic in Bangalore). Also they don’t hesitate to load excess passengers and make them sit/sleep in the bay between the two rows of seats. Omer is the worst in this aspect. Also majority of them do not honor timings. (No such problems with Volvo B7R since volvo can't carry anything on rooftop)

I have not tried Kallada, kesinenini and several other operators.

Quick Note on Hyderabad Chennai by bus: Distance and pricing is almost same as Hyderabad-Bangalore (700 Rs approx in Volvo, around 12 hours journey)

Dhanunjaya: Efficient service but not that punctual. Once they inserted an mp3 cd and were trying to get video out of it …

Kamakshi: Relatively punctual, but non uniformed staff, entertain excess passengers who sit/sleep in the walkway.

Raj National Express have Tata Globus service between Hyderabad and Chennai for around 450 rupees.

If you have any specific experiences to share please drop a comment.

Quick Summary: Go to TOP

For Maximum Luggage Safety: KSRTC/APSRTC

For Punctuality: KSRTC & Raj National Express

For Multiple pickup points: Gee Pee, HKB

For Full sleeper coach (Volvo): Gee Pee

3rd Party websites that facilitate online ticket bookings for south Indian destinations:
1. (by Pilani Soft Labs Pvt. Ltd.)
Covers most of South Indian destinations -Read detailed review of business model and viability

2. Prasanna Tours P Limited:
South India (Presently Covers the BGL - HYD Sector)

Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Baroda

For buses originating from Hyderabad to all parts of AP, and to Bangalore and Chennai

Disclaimer: Opinions given in this post are based on author’s personal experience when he travelled in these buses. Individual experience may vary and service quality may change over time. Written for informative purposes only. This author is not associated with any of the websites/travel companies

Related posts: Kudos BMTC| Bangalore Volvo City Buses | Chennai Volvo City buses| Why left half for ladies in Chennai MTC? | Self Drive Car Rentals in India-All you wanted to know

People who are used to spending their vacations at cruise ships and resorts are quite prodigal in their expenses. Penurious individuals usually manage by getting on cheap flights and booking a travel lodge only.

Additional posts related to Travel and Tourism: Skanda Giri Hills Bangalore | Anantagiri Hyderabad| Shilparmam Hyderabad| Durgam Cheruvu Hyd| Ramoji Film City-Photos, Videos | Club Mahindra membership|Golconda Fort|Chennai-Mysore on road by self drive | Extra berths in Indian Railway Coaches | Yercaud, TN travelogue | Wayanad Travelogue
| Ooty Traveogue |

May 2009 Update: Chennai-Bangalore by bus.

I usually travel by train for Chennai-Bangalore sector as it is convenient and cheap. Since tickets were not available last time, tried Bharathi for Chennai-Bangalore and KPN AC Sleeper Volvo for Bangalore-Chennai. Overall good experience in both. The sleeper was very comfortable. Bharti was little behind schedule. For KPN had to travel in a van till electronic city to board the bus. KPN has decent waiting space at most of their pickup points which is an added advantage


suraj said...

Diwakar roadways and Sharma trnsport is one of the good service provder in
banglore-hyderbad sector

hari said...

Good informative post. I read it fully.

Mostly it seems that the public buses are better and more reliable than private operators.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hari, Yes, govt services are better relatively except for few drawbacks..

Suraj, Thanks for sharing that information.

Anonymous said...

No matter what the bus is called it is exhausting beyond words.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes. Train is more comfortable compared to bus...Still people do prefer buses at times due to convenience factor like multiple pickup points etc...

Sarma said...

Hi Srinidhi:

Any comments on the drivers in the various operators?

My general experience has been that the APSRTC drivers are the most conservative in terms of speed because of speed-governors installed on most APSRTC buses. I have not travelled long distance on KSRTC buses, so have no comments on their driving.

Private bus drivers, in general, give me goose bumps with their "rash" driving. They spend all their time at the various city pickup points and really pump up the gas once they reach city outskirts. They make up for all the time lost milling around the city.

Just wanted to know your thoughts.


Shrinidhi Hande said...


Yes you are right about private bus drivers over speeding on highways to make up for the lost time in city. But I do not think intercity luxury buses (particularly B7Rs) have speed limiters equipped in them. Only city buses have such devices. Because KSRTC Volvo leaves Majestic by 11 pm and reached Chennai by 3 am. (376 kms in 4 hours- 94kmph average speed and over 140 kmph on highways-Not at all possible with speed limiters.

Volvo gives exclusive training to drivers and pre requisite to become a Volvo coach driver is that the person should have 5 years experience driving regular buses. Because of this, Volvo drivers are far more decent and polite compared to others. Given a good road they do cruise at top speed-the vehicle is quite tempting and it is difficult to go slow.

Sarma said...

Thanks, Shrinidhi.

Wow!, B'lore to Chennai in 4 hours. That's amazing. I remember travelling in the other direction by a TNSETC bus, way back in 2003. The bus departed from CMBT at around 1pm and reached Kempe Gowda around 9pm. The driver took NH4, instead of the Golden Quad route, which was under heavy construction then.

I reckon APSRTC Volvos too have speed governors, unless you've travelled from B'lore to Chennai on an APSRTC Volvo.


Shrinidhi Hande said...

I have not travelled in APSRTC Volvo between Chennai and Bangalore (that is not a sector they're interested in either)

. said...

without a doubt, the B7R rocks.

I have travelled around 25-30 times in a B7R including Bangalore-Mumbai, 5-6 Mumbai-Davanagere/Davanagere-Mumbai, Mum-Goa-Mum, Blore-Mlore , numerous Mum-Pune-Mum

And then one day i took a Raj travels Globus from Mum-Pune. I will never do that again. The Globus just cannot match the B7R in terms of anything but initial cost n fuel efficiency. Even the 6-7yr old Neeta B7Rs feel better than the new Raj Globus buses. That Neeta cruised at 105-110, had half the vibs and noise and felt miles ahead in comfort too.

Yeah the Globus costs 33-34, as compared the 70+ of the B7R, but i think its worth it. The 17hr Blore-Mumbai VRL volvo trip left me fresh when i arrived in Mumbai.

Im so in love with the B7R, i even started a blog ( Enuf said!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Your blog is informative...

Thanks for sharing your experience here.

Both tatas and Ashok Leyland have desparately attempted rear engine technology and failed due to design flaws.

. said...

thanks shrinidhi

Merc has already come out with the Actros range of trucks and very soon, we will be able to see their buses too. Waiting for those to hit the roads!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

May be Merc buses will be more expensive and comfortable than Volvos??

Another player-MAN-has any plans of rolling out buses?

Agn! Sharman said...

I used to work for a company in Bangalore and used to travel to Chennai on weekends

I end up getting froped by KSRTC volvo at chennai at anytime between 2AM and 4AM

I suffered a lot because of the Chennai Autorikshaw guys, charging me 150 to 300 Rupees to get dropped off from CMBT to home.

This forced me give a special discounted rate for people like me when I start a CAB service at Chennai to help then get dropped home @ a nominal cost and not to exceed Rs250/- with in Chennai city.

So call me if you need me @ anytime (24 X 7) at 98414 87 666

Gud luck to you guys!

Sarvesh said...

Very informative one just when am in need of.

Thanks Shri.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

My pleasure Sarvesh. You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

hello everyone i think journey by train is best between hyderabad and bangalore,u have BANGALORE EXPRESS from secunderabad to bangalore.its very convenient time that starts in secunderabad at 6.00pm in the evening,buses also good but there may be traffic jams and sitting buses are horroble and we cant sit those many hours and i think several trains like karnataka express,rajdhani express,garibrath express etc are there

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Yes, train journey is more comfortable and cheaper too. But some -ve aspects: Travel all the way to Kachiguda/Secunderabad, tough if with heavy luggage. Buses have multiple pickup and drop points...

Also to catch 6PM train one will need to start from office by 4PM which would require taking permission from your boss...

Vidooshak said...

Very very very useful blog. I will link to you from my blog! Awesome level of detail and usefulness. Great job, sir.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vidooshak

prashulove said...

hi enidhi
thanks for lot of information
prashulove MM here

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Prashu for visiting

The Confused Orient said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Confused Orient said...

You missed two big points.

1) Firstly, The road b/w HYD-BLR is under 6-lane expansion, so until it’s completed - perhaps 2010, road travel – even in Volvo is not so comfortable.

2) Garuda is not same as KSRTC Volvo.
I have shuttled b/w Hyd-Blr over 2 dozen times in last 2 years.

KASRTC is light years ahead.

I was forced to use Garuda on 5-6 occasions due to non availability of seats in KSRTC.

On each occasion, I had a bad to terrible experience in GARUDA -

Once A/c was non functional [windows do not open mind you]
Two other times they never gave bed spread.
They distributed water only once.
Only once the seats were in good condition, most times seats were pathetic and dusty inside.

In KSRTC everything is prompt, they also give wet wipes, and bus has been always neat inside.

I agree multiple pick up points is useful, but has a flip side; you will not have a good enough time window, what if you fail to beat the city traffic. So to me going to MGBS OR Kempegowda BS is more convenient.

Also, in Bangalore, You may use KSRTC Volvo ticket as a bus ticket on the day of arrival. [In HYD, city buses are not reliable also].

So, APSRTC can pick u a leaf out of KSRTC and improve.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for the update on six lane work and Garuda experiences.

There is a new variant of Volvo with higher ground clearance-hope they do better on bad roads.

I knew we could use KSRTC Ticket for free journey in BMTC bus 2 hours prior to departure time-didn't know it could be used on arrival also- thanks.

the said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

chennai to hyderabad bus volvo a/c semisleeper at 7.30pm-arrival 7.30am

chennai to hyderabad bus volvo a/c semisleeper at 8.30pm-arrival 8.30am

for details jahhan travels egmore chennai 044-42145265, 9840885864,

prat78 said...

sharma and HKB according to my opinion provide good service. While travelling by sharma we faced the problem many times that they would not put on the AC in Volvo bus.
Geepee and Diwakar are the worst in my opinion.Gee Pee though has the best buses but the worst service. They do not allow passenger luggages to be loaded in the luggage compartment as they are loaded fully with their own junk. Also the driver and conductor ask you to either carry the luggage in or not to board the bus. Diwakar also has been p[athetic in terms of customer service often exchanging the seats and not giving the seats it had originally written in the ticket. My advice to all is travel by KSRTC or HKB

Shrinidhi Hande said...

your views match with those mentioned in the review to a great extent.


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Nag's said...

Never travel in Dhanunjaya travels.On 19th Aug 2010 the bus was over speed and toppled on highway where there was nothing to help. Just because the travel ling passengers were great and with panic came out of the emergency door from the roof of the bus. And also due to 108 ambulance service some servely injured people got help. Hence as one of the traveller of this night mare request fellow citizens not to travle by the dhanunjaya travels.

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Sad to hear about what you went through.

One of my friend had an accident while traveling in KSRTC.

Accidents happen once a while, because bad drivers are everywhere. Don't think one should generalize the travels for this.

Roshan RK said...

Any comments on the drivers in the various operators?

My general experience has been that the APSRTC drivers are bad and they don't talk much about taxi service in nagpur .