KSRTC Ambari Utsav: Experience, Review - eNidhi India Travel Blog

KSRTC Ambari Utsav: Experience, Review

KSRTC had launched Ambari Utsav ultra luxury sleeper coaches earlier this year. Finally I decided to travel in them. This post shares my findings.

No overhead sleeping berth for co drivers

Ambari Utsav ticket costs almost 1.5x more than the non AC sleeper coach buses that KSRTC operates. For that 50%b extra price, you get air conditioning, USB charging ports, a blanket and a bus with better suspension, comfort, lighting and branding.

KSRTC already has Ambari AC sleeper coaches, which are pretty close to Ambari Utsav and about 10% cheaper. Slightly better suspension, designer colour & branding is what you get in Ambari Utsav extra for the additional 10% money paid. Ambari dream class is Volvo B11R, while Ambari Utsav is Volvo 9600. Volvo 9600 has an ex show room price of 1.3 crores and on road price should be touching 1.7-1.8 crores. Apart from KSRTC several private operators including VRL have ordered lots of these ultra luxury buses.

Above: Ambari Utsav, Below: Regular Ambari dream class

Ambari Utsav is also a visual stunner. While KSRTC has chosen white colour for most of its luxury buses, Ambari Utsav comes with blue theme, yellow lights and curtains, so it is bound to turn eyes.

KSRTC flybus has a toilet inside- same should have been provided inside Ambari class as well- would have been more comfortable for passengers, mainly lady passengers.

Ambari Utsav beds are fine, a blanket is also provided, there are 2 AC vents per seat, one in front, one in back. There is a curtain to separate the two passengers sitting in 2 bed layout, if they wish to have it for some more privacy. While there is a USB charging port per passenger, there is no plug point- so we can’t charge our laptop or use conventional chargers. Do carry your USB cables.

If you try to sit, the roof will touch your head (depends on your height). It is a sleeper so not best suited for sitting. I could manage to sit in a slightly bent posture and work for sometime on laptop, but not a good idea. AC vents take some overhead space. (They could have kept the vents on the side and keep central area taller).
In terms of travel time I don’t see a difference. A normal NON AC bus or Ambari Utsav will follow the same route, stop at the same bus stops and take similar time to reach a destination. Volvo 9600 might have a more capable engine, but our roads don’t permit exploiting its full potential and reach destination faster.

When Airavat class was launched, KSRTC used to provide a bottle of water to each passenger. Now they have stopped it- to save plastic usage and because most passengers probably don’t care- they carry their own water or buy if they needed one.

On my onward journey my seat was at the last row. The overhead emergency exit had some water stagnation on the outer side and was making swaying sound while bus was moving. The last row is even more elevated. From top if you look at other buses and cars they look like toys!

Last row's upper berths were bumpy on bad roads- I was woken up from my sleep and tossed around as the bus passed through the bad roads of Shiradi ghat. Not the fault of the bus, but some of our roads are so bad, even the best suspension technology in the world can’t help. On my return journey I was in the first row lower berths. I could sleep well between Sakleshpura and Mangaluru without being woken up.

Above: how other buses look from top berth of Ambari Utsav

Overall, KSRTC Ambari Utsav is a nice experience but personally I am not sure if I want to spend so much on luxury. I don’t intend to book Ambari Utsav for all my trips but once in a while I might if I feel like. But then there are enough customers who don’t mind paying 1.5x. Most Ambari Utsavs are running full on weekend trips.

Try it once for the experience and decide.

Related: Why I prefer KSRTC over private bus operators

No comments

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days.Use Anonymous option if you don't wish to leave your name/ID behind- Shrinidhi

Powered by Blogger.