When the sun sets, it paints the sky in a mesmerising palette, in front of which everything else fades to black. The scene of this sunset was a hot late summer evening at Kodimatha in Kottayam, Kerala, India with everything else, including the Chicking outlet turning into black silhouettes in front of the brilliant sunset. The photo has been color-enhanced, but these colors of the sunset – yellow, orange, gold, blue, purple and pink – are all real.
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) brand new Scania Metrolink long-distance Multi (tri) axle coach bus sits basking in the evening sun at Kottayam KSRTC bus station in Kerala awaiting inauguration. The buses have been branded “Garuda Maharaja – The Chariot of Kerala.” This is the first of 18 buses ordered by KSRTC for its long distance services from Kerala to various parts of the country including Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Hyderabad and possibly Bangalore. The livery of the buses is also different from the corporation’s current flagship Volvo B9R buses. Waiting for awesome rides on these new flagship superstars!
Freshly painted SR AJJ WAP1 #22041 in full WAP4 livery rests at Kottayam with the 12082 Trivandrum – Kannur Jan Shatabdi Express. The first two coaches are in regular Jan Shatabdi livery while most of the remaining are pasted over with advertisement wraps of different colors for Joy Alukkas jewelers, Madhyamam newspaper and others. The WAP1, with mid-mounted headlamps no less, is a not rare but less regular link compared to the WAP4 it usually hauls. The train has comparatively limited stops, a rarity for Kerala, and is the fastest between Trivandrum and Kannur.
A Kerala State Road Transport Corportation’s (KSRTC) Volvo B9R Multi Axle bus running the Bangalore – Kottayam service stands tall, all majestic and elite, at a rest stop between Bangalore and Salem. The bus sports the unique government-registered livery and is one of the 10 recently procured Volvos for running Kerala – Bangalore services. The bus registered RS788 under KSRTC’s scheme belongs to the Kottayam depot of KSRTC. The service is exemplary, the buses are superbly maintained, smooth, noiseless and extremely comfortable, much better than private 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.