Bangalore to Mumbai, 18 hours by bus and better than expected
If you are traveling between Bangalore and Mumbai, you should consider the bus a serious alternative to the train.
Since my SL class ticket on the Kurla express got charted as RAC, I figured I might as well spend a few bucks extra for bus ride, which in all respects would be better than sleeping in my pool of sweat on the floor of our trains. Its adventurous and all the first few times, but when your dreams are interrupted by that little cockroach that sneaked into your sleeping bag, you figure its time to try the other options.
I got to redbus to figure out my bus options, and was surprised that the VRL multi-axle AC Volvos are both Rs.200 cheaper than the 3AC fares and a whole 5 hours faster than the train. I figured the multi-axle bus would be a smooth ride on our upgraded NHDP highways, and I was not wrong.
Departed from Ananda Rao circle at 7pm and reached Sion at 1:30 pm the next day, right on schedule and no signs of fatigue. I had a fully reclining seat, good curtains, personal power outlet (which I did not use), working airconditioning and a comfy blanket that was fresh enough to dig into. As a bonus, a friendly co-passenger, buss attendants and a good choice of meal and toilet stops regularly enroute. If only VRL had such service across the country, I would gladly drop the railways out of my travel options till they fix their game.