MAYILVAHANAM

Mayilvahanam buses brings nostalgia to the hearts of every valluvanadan  .Those buses with  green , blue , red and white livery were the only ones we knew , they literally connected valluvanadan heartland with the outside world . Today as they wind up their historic journey , this is my ode to what we proudly call “our KSRTC”….

Being born in 1989 my Mayilvahanam experience started much later compared to many of my readers . My mother used to go to college in a CTS which she reminisces quiet often and the strange part is that she still remembers the names of conductors and drivers of those “circular” buses . As other means of transport were rare those employees held an important place in their lives as they took them to their destinations safe and on time. My first memories of those buses were when i used to go to my maternal home in the “Ennapadam” bus from Cherpulassery to Shornur . It was a blue / green bus that ran from Mannarkad to Thrissur and would usually be  full when we board , more people used to get in as we passed through the many stops making it tilt towards either sides violently owing to the weight  as we sped through many a narrow lanes.  Then came my school days when my mother and I used to take our morning and evening “Velichapad – Valanchery” .  It was again a blue/green bus from Ottapalam to Valanchery via Cherpulassery and pattambi . The name Velichapad was the pseudonym of its driver who according to my mother was short tempered like a valluvanadan Velichapad . If we did not get our regular bus the next was a red/white Palakkad – Guruvayur one which was so jam packed that i still have nightmares about my journeys in it. As years passed these many Mayilvahanams became part of my life . The Palakkad – Guruvayur route was their bastion , so were the many routes connecting all the major Valluvanadan towns like Cherpulassery , Ottapalam , Shornur , Pattambi ,Perinthalmanna , Mannarkad and Valanchery.  The Kozhikode buses were legendary whether it be Walayar, Kollengode or Mangalam dam , and there was the Shornur – Anakatty bus that passed Pattambi early in the morning. The strange thing is that most of these buses started from the small discreet border towns along the Kerala – Tamil nadu border like Gopalapuram or Meenakshipuram and went to Guruvayur.

Each brand of Mayilvahanam buses had their workshops at Shornur . I still remember the bus bodies being built inside those sheds with spare buses waiting for maintenance  spilling on to the main road . Like KSRTC they used to have checkers .During my college days (2010s) , he used to board the Kozhikode – Vadakenchery bus from Thootha on random days and check the tickets from the conductors ticket book . There  were spare buses and it was common for the passengers to be ferried into the spare bus at Kulappully if the main bus experienced any trouble.

As of 2017 there are only a handful of Mayilvahanams left and myself being a Mayilvahanam fan like any other Valluvanadan would deeply miss our Vahanams.

 

 

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VALLUVANAD ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION

The response to Valluvanadan posts on this blog have been amazing , hence i was pondering on various Valluvanadan topics and when i saw those  majestic Mayilvahanam buses in their repair yard at shornur it struck me … why not them??. our region has always been the bastion of Private buses , though many of the iconic bus companies else where went extinct we still have those old names on our roads – Mayilvahanams , Karippals etc   .

The history of Valluvanad transport must start with the pioneers , The chemarikkat family of Shornur and their CTS and mayilvahanam buses . They have long distance buses to local buses all under the same brand . Almost all buses on every other route around this region was a mayilvahanam  –  whether it be green/blue , red/white , The Prakash travels , The Circular buses that circled Cherpulassery, Pattambi,Shornur and Ottapalam. Pattambi- Valancheri route and Perinthalmanna- Ottapalam route were the home turf of the green/blue buses ; prakash travels owned the mannarkad – shornur route ; on the Palakkad – Guruvayoor and the Palakkad – Kozhikode routes ran the limited stops  and fast passengers.   Though largely reduced in number mayilvahanams still run on the Palakkad – Guruvayoor route with new liveries and modern Karur bodies.

A trip to Thrissur was about Maya , Karippal and Rajeev buses . The Ottapalam- Thrissur route was their bastion. The blue colored Karippal buses connected Ottapalam , Cherpulassery and Pattambi to Thrissur . Maya buses ran as far as Kodungallur in the south and there was even a Rajeev bus from Kodungallur to Mannarkad. Today only Karippal remains and they still run the iconic Kongad – Thrissur Sowgandhikam , which is the fastest bus in the route.The routes to Thrissur was also peppered with Balakrishna buses from Guruvayoor and Dhanalakshmi from Kodungallur.

The Palakkad Kozhikode route was synonymous with KTC buses from Kozhikode. Those red buses were the fastest in the region and were usually feared for their overtakes. KTC is long gone and Private buses have been withdrawing from the route due to tough competition from the KSRTC.

There is a lobby that constantly complain about KSRTC being a loss making enterprise and wants private buses to be taken off our roads permanently for making the Government run company profitable . The Travancore group subtly forget the fact that these private buses where the only means of transport we the people of Malabar had when KSRTC was focusing only on regions south of Thrissur. Let us hope that this pressure group which plays on public emotions not push our private bus heritage into the dust bin for their sake.

 

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