Kondody Autocraft is Kerala’s most important bus body building undertaking located at Kottayam, Kerala. They build ladder-on-frame bus bodies on chassis for private bus operators. These buses, commonly called the “Kondody Body” are widely seen across South Kerala. They are the only manufacturer (apart from KSRTC) accredited to build buses in compliance with the new AIS-052 code of practice for bus body design and approval. Here is Kondody’s latest bus model built in accordance with AIS-052 standards, running the Kottayam – Changanasserry – Kattappana – Irattayar route for sister concern Kondody Motors, Kottayam and Idukki districts’ most prolific private stage carrier bus operator. This new model bus sports the iconic Kondody front facade while the sides with large glass windows look radically different. It overall is more compact, contemporary and much better looking than usual buses. The livery is an “inspiration” of that of the KSRTC Volvos.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) Ashok Leyland Viking bus RPK 127 Super Fast of the Muvattupuzha depot runs the daily service from Thiruvananthapuram to Muvattupuzha, here spotted on the abomination of a “highway” called the MC Road, just after Kottayam in Kerala. This service is famous for its aggressiveness and speed, as are most services from the Muvattupuzha depot. The sticker work seen on the front of the bus was done by the schedule drivers (Pratheesh Kumar and Sarish Thadathil) by paying from their own pockets! (as per Bus Passengers Muvattupuzha) The classic yellow and red “speed” livery stands unblemished by advertisements. It is sad that such a nice bus’ (and the passengers’) backs will be broken by the stupid road.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation’s ordinary bus TS620 of Muvvattupuzha deport wheezing up the curves of the MC Road on its Muvvattupuzha – Kootthattukulam run which takes it entirly though hilly areas which the old, dusty, flaky, moldy (note the moss on its roof) 14 year old (1999 model) Ashok Leyland grandfather bus still manages to endure. This old warhorse must’ve started its life as a Superfast or Fast Passenger which is now condemned to lead life like this in the last few years of its life.
This design of KSRTC buses which was in vogue for several decades, now phased out and replaced with the more modern “straight lines” look, coupled with the elephants on KSRTC’s logo was what inspired the name “aana vandi” for KSRTC buses. This iconic aana vandi design is gradually disappearing from the roads as more of these buses are being scrapped. Note the epic ground clearance, the Army can put this bus to good use!
Kerala KSRTC’s “Super Express Air Bus” RNE 51 of the Trissur depot on the way from Thrissur to Thiruvananthapuram via Kottayam in standard, classic KSRTC livery. The bus is battered and bruised after long runs on dilapidated Kerala roads. The green monster however, showed no signs of slowing down as the driver threw it around the curves on the MC Road. It was definitely “Super Express” but the “Air Bus” part was not very convincing. I took it from Thrissur to Kottayam and we took only 2 hours and 30 minutes for the journey! This bus used to run to Bangalore when it was new.