The reservation was done online through the KSTDC site. The site is very basic, but quite functional. The specific seats in the Volvo bus can also be blocked. We were charged a total of Rs. 3400 for the whole package . The package that we took was the 1 day tour of Tirupathi(Lord Venketeshwara and Padmavathi Temple)-Mangapura.
There are two transport buses. One which takes you till the base of Tirupathi, which is usually a KSTDC Volvo. The second is the AP bus, which is a basic bus, to take the passengers to the top. Also all the luggage is to be left in the KSTDC bus itself.
The tour began at the KSTDC office near the Bangalore Corporation. We were issued a ticket and asked to wait. The Volvo bus was well on time. It left sharp at 10 PM.
We had our first stop at a Kamat hotel on the NH4 in Narsapura. While returning also the bus had stopped at this hotel. The place is clean, food decent and has washrooms as well. This can be an ideal stop location for car trips to Tirupathi.
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Then the bus moved towards Tirupathi. We reached Tirupathi Srinivasa lodge at around 3 AM. There we were asked to have bath and get ready to visit the the Padmavati temple.We were allotted one room. The rooms at Srinvasa seem to show the age of the construction. The washrooms were basic and the rooms had a TV as well. The main use of these rooms is to have a bath and they have a water heater.
We got ready by 3:45 AM and again boarded the KSTDC bus to leave for the Padmavati temple. We left quickly for the Padmavati temple and then the guide narrated the story of the temple. Once at the temple we rushed to get the ticket and then were lucky to get the 4:30 AM puja and darshan quickly.
Then the next stop was Bhima hotel to have our breakfast. Once we had a fill of masala dosa and coffee, we boarded the APSRTC bus. This is the point where we were asked to leave our mobiles and cameras in the bag in the mobile bus only.
We reached the temple where the guide gave us some basic instructions about where to assemble once the darshan was done. Getting in the darshan line took some time. But once we were in the line , the darshan was done within 45 mins. The usual pushing and jostling was present as usual. After the darshan we assembled at the pre-designated point near the market. There the guide provided us with the prasad ladoo, so we did not have to wait in the ladoo queue also. At around 12 PM we left Tirupathi temple in the APSRTC and were later transferred to the KSTDC Volvo for our journey back home. On our journey back the bus stopped at a local hotel, it’s location I could not get, but the food was not upto the mark. It was really bad. Then we stopped at Kamat for the evening tea as well.We were back at our places by 6 PM, which was within 24 hours of us leaving for the journey.
I would surely recommend this package to anyone who wants a quick and comfortable trip to Tirupathi. The tour operators are genuine and not concerned about making any extra bucks at the cost of the passengers.