“Stickered Up” KSRTC Super Fast RPK 127 of Muvattupuzha!

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.

KSRTC’s Old Ordinary Bus TS620 “Aana Vandi” of Muvvattupuzha

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!

A KSRTC Superfast on a Rollercoaster Ride!

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Superfast bus RNK 447 of Poovar depot in Trivandrum district careens around a sharp bend at high speed between Koothattukulam and Muvattupuzha on the MC Road in Kerala, on its run from Poovar to Thrissur. This particular stretch of road is filled with almost continuous sharp twists and turns making it it a challenging road to drive on but KSRTC drivers make it look easy. KSRTC Superfasts are known for their speed and vicious, unforgiving, fast and furious driving style which also makes them a hot favorite among travelers. The body seems to be about to rip itself off the chassis!

Obey Traffic Rules! By Order, Kerala Police

The most basic traffic rules written in Malayalam hang from a traffic signal post at Kalady junction on the MC Road in Kerala. (Traffic signals are called just “traffic” in Kerala. So what is traffic actually called? A “block”. Yeah we are complicated.

The rules written are as follows:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Always wear seatbelts.
  • Do not overtake from the left.
  • Do not use mobiles while driving.
  • Two-wheelers keep to the left side of the road.
  • Obey traffic rules.
  • Prevent accidents and accident deaths.

– Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural.

The MC Road Framed by Walls of Greenery

The Main Central Road (MC Road) in Kerala connects the state capital Thiruvananthapuram with central Travancore districts, ending at Angamaly in Ernakulam district. The road was built by Raja Kesavadas, the erstwhile Diwan of Travancore. The road passes through mountainous terrain, heavily populated in pockets. Here the road is seen in Kottayam district, flanked by walls of greenery on all sides and offers very beautiful views. The road is very twisty for its entire length and you should be an expert driver to negotiate it.

Broken and Flooded MC Road near Tiruvalla, Kerala

Cars “swim” through a waterlogged MC Road near Tiruvalla in Kerala. The state of the “lifeline” road of central south Kerala is deplorable and this is not the only location where the road is in this condition, rather it is one of many. Deep gorges hide beneath the water, holding up traffic and causing long traffic jams and misery. Only a small rain is enough for the road to turn into a waterway. Maybe they are trying to promote water tourism advertising the road as a backwater where you can enjoy driving through them instead of hiring expensive houseboats.