Back in August, I had to travel to Goa for work for a few days.
I chose not to fly because it would have been way too hectic. I would have had to take a bus to Bangalore (3-4 hours away depending on traffic), then a taxi to the airport (1-2 hours depending on traffic…which is the absolute worst in Bangalore) and finally fly out.
I mean the entire journey would negate the ease of flying.
So instead, I chose to experiment all for the purpose of blogging about it later. The things I do in the name of research. Sometimes they’re fun…
…other times, such as this, not so much.
On my way from Mysore to Goa, I chose to test out the bus. Let me preface by saying that traveling by bus from Mysore to Goa was the worst travel journey I have ever experienced. I have never been more nauseous in my life. Anti-nausea meds were useless.
I’m generally never queasy, in fact, I find turbulence to be oddly comforting when I fly.
I think just the combinations of potholes, traffic, and breaking for farm animals causes buses in India to jerk ever so often, wreaking absolute havoc on my insides. To top it off, it decided to rain the day I traveled, which made a long journey (12+ hours) even longer because of traffic.
But if you chose to travel by bus to Goa, know that bus travel is a popular option in India, especially during the monsoons when trains are known to derail. Depending on the route you take, it works out to be quicker than the train. And, they have ‘luxury’ bus providers on all the popular routes, so it doesn’t seem like you’re traveling in a third world country. If you close your eyes, that is.
You can book a bus in advance from the operator’s website, but more often than not, you just show up at the city’s main bus station and pay on board. If you ever decided to take a bus in India, I would recommend paying when you get there because
a) you don’t have to stick to a schedule, there are buses that leave for main cities very frequently, and
b) you don’t have to worry about your international credit card not working.
The route the bus takes is Mysore – Bangalore – Goa. It’s not a straight shot because you switch buses in Bangalore. There are sleeper buses that attempt to make the journey bearable, but once again, it wasn’t the case for me. I thought laying down would help, but the route the bus takes to Goa is through the mountains – all the twists and turns just made it worse.
In short, I would only use the bus as your very last resort, because it’s not convenient or comfortable. You have been warned.
We hadn’t booked return bus tickets (thank goodness), and I knew for sure I would not subject myself to that horrible journey again.
So, heading back from Goa, I decided to research trains. You think with the amount of people (I’m thinking billions) that travel so frequently to Goa, there would be more helpful information online. Turns out, there isn’t…until now!
The Indian Railways (IRCTC) website doesn’t give you all the possible routes to take to Mysore, so we had to book the journey as Goa – Hubli and then Hubli – Mysore.
The route I recommend taking is:
GOA – HUBLI – MYSORE
When booking tickets, choose 1st class or 2nd A/C seats if you can. This quora thread explains the different ticketing options (with pictures), because they are so confusing!
Hubli is a great stop because it’s a main train station, and even at 9:00pm/10:00pm there were a ton of people on the platform and the station manager was in his office. Some of the stations we passed looked so lonely, especially for two women travelers.
There you have it, ways to get from Mysore to Goa and vice versa. Go forth and travel!
Things to Note:
- You have to create an account on IRCTC to look at train schedules
- This page has useful information for International tourists
- You can only book tickets online from 12:30am to 11:45pm Indian time. So, if you’re booking from abroad, keep that in mind
- Clicking on the Train no. pulls up a list of all the stations the train stops & the time it stops at…which is helpful because people rush to board the train. Figure out where your train compartment is, and stand there for it at least 15 minutes for the train is scheduled to arrive.