Expensive way to travel to Chennai from Madurai

But very helpful in emergency situations or unavoidable circumstances

Last week I had a tough time. After attending my cousin Jensi’s marriage on Saturday in Madurai, we thought of traveling back to Chennai on Sunday night in the “Pandian Super Fast Express”. I was holding an alternate option in the  “Senkottai Super Fast Express” as well, because my son’s school was reopening on the next day. Last year too he tried to get full attendance and missed it by an unfortunate illness.

When the chart got prepared I realized that both the trains were full and our tickets were in the waiting lists itself. So I didn’t know what to do. One can handle any situation except his wife’s “N” number of questions 🙂 . I discussed the depth of the situation with my wife’s brother Andrew and we both went to the “Periyar Bus Stand“. There he knew few of the travel agents as he was working in  a travel agency in Madurai for a couple of years.

We thought those travel agents would have business links with other travel agents. We consulted a few guys there. One guy pointed towards a stationary Volvo bus and said “The bus will come around 10:oo PM sir and will look like this bus sir”. I avoided him and almost gave up the thought of traveling on that day.

A guy came nearby and told me that he’ll be able to arrange for two tickets in the Government A/C Bus. I was so happy, but dint know whether to believe him or not. One side of my mind kept on telling me that “Tomorrow is the first day of my son’s school“.

He asked me Rs. 600 for the ticket which actually costed only Rs. 400. But we had decided to home somehow or the other so, I gave him the money. He then asked us to follow him, and we silently obeyed.  He went and met a guy who was sitting in the government booth. He spoke to him and that guy shouted in such a way that it almost sent this gut out!.

Then I started having my own doubts about this guy, so I asked my cousin to keep an eye on him. In the meanwhile I was looking for the remaining government buses as my alternate options. As he had told me the A/C bus arrived and it was full.  We were very puzzled as to what to do. Then he promised me that he will get us all seats in an ordinary government bus.

An Ultra Deluxe Bus came and stopped in front of us. We asked the conductor if we could board it, but he said that the bus was full. Suddenly this broker went and spoke to him, and gave the money in a dark place underhand. God only knows how much money he gave. He returned to us with a reserved ticket and Rs 200 as well. So the tickets actually costed Rs. 1000 for two adults.

After I was handed the ticket we boarded the bus and gave a call to my wife who was in P&T nagar. She rushed to “Mattuthavani Bus Stand” with the help of neighborhood brother Mr. Rajendran in his car. They joined me in Mattuthavani Bus Stand. Luckily, we got seats at the back of the bus .  Once the bus started moving the conductor came towards me and I took a half ticket worth Rs 120 for Alan. Hence, we reached Thambaram Bus Stand, Chennai on-time.

We took the underground subway from Thambaram Bus Stand to Thambaram Railway Station and traveled up to St. Thomas Mount Railway Station in an electric train and from there we reached home in my bike (Hero Honda Splendor).

Thus we were able to send our son Alan to school in time!

How you could help your friends and relatives in a train journey for emergency situations?

Last Friday I traveled from Chennai Egmore Station to Madurai Junction  with my family members (my wife Jebakani, my son Alan Jeffsan Alfred and my uncle Immanuel Jeyaprakash). Last month itself we were informed about my cousin sister Jensi’s marriage. So we reserved a month before for confirmed ticket. Last evening we attended her marriage. The marriage went well.

Back to my Friday journey. Morning my uncle gave a call to us and informed that he wanted to  attend that marriage. But its very difficult to get a second sleeper ticket on the last day of the travel. So we asked him to take a i-Ticket, Second sleeper ( you have to go to any Southern Railways reservation center and book a ticket and get a normal ticket) . So he took a ticket for the second class sleeper and the waiting list number was 161 (around 11:00am on Friday morning).

That evening when the chart got prepared his waiting list number was 12. Before the train started to leave Chennai we had a discussion with the TTR and requested him politely that we are traveling as  familyand adjusting our seats with my uncle. So he allowed him to travel with us. We offered our son Alan Jeffsan’s seat to him.

I and Alan Jeffsan shared one seat.     we reached Madurai with a happy mood.

Why I paid a Rs 480 as a fine to travel from Dindukal to Chennai.?

A couple of months back I went to Dindukal to attend my aunt’s funeral. After all formalities done I slipped form their house to the railway station with out any one’s knowledge.

So I took a normal open ticket to Chennai for Rs 110. Fortunately my family members was traveling on that same day from Madurai to Chennai in Pandian Express. So I boarded in second sleeper S5 . When the TTR came I asked him to allow me to travel with my family. I thought he would give a bill for the remaining amount which i supposed to pay.

But what happened was completely a different story.

Dindukal to Chennai = Rs    240.00
Fine almost                  = Rs    350.00
Total amount               = Rs   590.00
My general ticket      =  Rs   110.00
Total                               =   Rs 480.00
The amount above here is approximate. I paid Rs 448 or 488, I am not sure. I remember it s around 450. My Ideas here is to explain the users about how the fine calculation works.

That’s why always take a i-ticket, regardless of a waiting list also we will be able to travel. But keep inform about your  ticket condition and your travel importance to the TTR early. So that he will be in a good mood to help us.


How to travel from Chennai to Madurai if you don’t have a reserved ticket.

I booked a ticket in Chennai Express a couple of weeks back to travel from Madurai to Chennai. That time the waiting list number was 215. I thought I will definitely get the RAC (Reservation against cancellation). But when the chart got prepared I was in the waiting list category only (WL-13). So I decided to travel by bus.

All my family members thought I am going to struggle to get a direct bus to Chennai. I went to the bus stand with my uncle (Mattuthavani Bus Stand Madurai). Outside of the bus stand itself I asked few private buses.  Their ticket cost 375 to 430. But there is one problem with these buses. There were no standard starting time.

Once I had an experience with this kind of bus in Chennai Egmore area.I got the ticket around 9.00 pm and that bus started around 11.00 pm and reached Madurai next day 11.00 am. The guy who sold the ticket said “Sir, there are few seats only left in the bus.” So I bought the ticket in a hurry. But when I reached the bus I came to new very few (three or four) passenger were already boarded. Slowly I realized that reaming seats they have to fill and then only they will start the bus.

Back to our Madurai bus stand, one of the government bus driver helped us with a valuable information. He guided us to the current booking center. In that current booking center I stood in a queue  for almost fifteen minutes and I got a token for RS. 10.00, These are called Special Chennai Buses.

They Issued me the token around 6:45 pm and my seat number was 34. Within five minutes I boarded on the bus. The bus was pretty old, and they charged me Rs. 144.00 to Chennai. Most of the (99%) are normal buses. But if you are in a hurry, these buses are a nice solution to your problem.

tendercoconutIn our travel that bus stopped at three places. In the fist stopping I had two parathas for Rs 25.00 and a Thunder Coconut for Rs 10.00.  One guy went to a shop were a grandma was shouting “Each Rs 10.00”, But the moment he chose a tender coconut, she said that it was Rs 15.00. He said he don’t want than and left that place. She scolded commonly that people are earning much but not willing to spend.

In Thindivanam we got a new driver and a conductor. I  had a coffee for Rs. 6.00.  The new conductor checked the passengers number and we continued our journey.

They started exactly at 7:00 pm and reached Chennai (Thambaram) at 6:00 am. I reached my home safely and back to my regular work.

If you don’t have a reserved ticket, or an emergency trip you have to make, just go to this current booking center and get a token for Rs 10.00.

Thanks to the Madurai Transport Corporation for this wonderful initiative.