Friday, October 18, 2013

How to travel from Hyderabad to Goa

Disclaimer - there are airlines and travel agencies mentioned in the post that follows. This is merely for information purpose and not a promotional mention. The experiences mentioned here are my personal and to each his own.

We have been living in Hyderabad for last 4 years. I was here for another year and half before that. That is a long enough time period to advise people on how to get from Hyderabad to Goa by various means. I have been to Goa by train, air and road (there is no water route :-) ). To save you the jhigjhig of going through the entire article let me put forth some rough guidelines for travel to Goa.
  • Taking a Volvo bus is currently the best alternative for travelling to Goa.
  • Flights are freaking expensive.
  • Trains take an eternity.
  • If you are travelling with kids who can't tell they want to pee or want to go 'outside'
    • If you are on a budget, take the train
    • If you have enough money, fly
Now, having set the basic premise, let us get into the details.

Flying to Goa
There is one direct flight to Goa (SG-1071) by Spicejet. Takes you about one hour tarmac to tarmac. And this is mostly expensive unless you book more than a month in advance. If booked in advance, you can get this flight for approx 4k. Other suitable alternative is an Air India flight via Bangalore (you need to change planes).

For return journey as well, Spicejet operates the only direct flight. If there is no direct flight, Air India flight via Pune or Spicejet via Chennai are the best alternatives.

Train travel to Goa
We have always taken the 17603 Kacheguda - Yeshwantpur express. This leaves Kacheguda station at 9PM for Yashwantpur (Bangalore). This train has 4 bogies that are detached at Guntakal Junction at 3:30AM and picked up by the Howrah Vasco train after 40 minutes wait. The train reaches Madgaon at 2 PM next day. If available, this is the best train travel option. Note that this train has only 2AC & SL options for Goa.
The other option for train travel is taking the train 11303 Hyderabad-Kolhapur express. This will take you till Londa Junction from where Panaji is about 3 hours drive. This is a less preferred option because you need to spend an entire day travelling.

Buses
There are multiple Volvo buses available. The most reliable ones are SVR, VRL, Kesineni & Paulo in the order of their reliability and my experience with them. In sleeper buses, I prefer Paulo over Kesineni. This is because, Paulo has double beds. So, if you are with family, you have ample space for your child to sleep between the parents. Moreover, the beds are along the line of motion so there is less sickness. In Kesineni sleeper, there are train like compartments with barely enough space for one person. And since the bed is perpendicular to the line of travel, there is a lot of body roll and hence sickness.

Self-drive
Read my older post here

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