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Friday, April 20, 2012

Chennai - Largest Bus Station


In one of my previous posts I covered the Asia’s largest Perishable Commodities Market at Koyambedu (Chennai) and now here comes the largest Bus Station in South Asia. Incidentally this is also there at Koyambdu and that too very close to where I was residing. It so happened that we were proceeding to visit the market and en-route I could catch a glimpse of a huge structure. It appeared as if a very large boat has been put upside down over a building. Needless to say that I enquired. I was told that it is the Bus Terminus. The driver seemed to be more enthusiastic. He said Sir, it is as big as an Air Port. Since we had driven quite far from it, I decided to have a see some time later. The opportunity came the same day evening.

It was just adjacent to  the SAF Games Village where I was putting up so I ventured to take a walk accompanied by my son, who had arrived that morning. Walking on the main road caused a little discomfort because of the construction activity of the Chennai Metro Project.  
The Bus station called Chennai Mufussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) is 500 yards inside from the road. The architecture of the front building  was some thing unique but there were several  sign boards and structures which were obstructing a clear view. The moment we entered the front hall,  we were confronted by the Security. This was never anticipated. May be we were questioned for we were not carrying any bag or baggage. That was good and admirable. We were overwhelmed to see a very huge hall with shining tiles on the floor and without any rubbish scattered. No doubt the premises have been kept very clean. The aesthetics of the  interiors of the passenger area has blended with the architectural design perfectly. We were not able to reconcile with such kind of a thing. The image of Bus Stands/Stations stored in our permanent memory failed to recognise this. This beauty was something  alien. But it was there!



We proceeded further to have an idea about the buses and the facilities thereat.All the facilities needed by passengers are in place. There were locker rooms where passengers can lodge their luggage, an ATM for drawing money, dormitories AC and non AC could be rented, eating joints, Coffee/Tea stalls, Magazines/News papers, wheel chairs for the disabled, a super market, clean toilets and what not. As our driver had commented, this just seemed to be an Air Port with all securities on alert.



The inner yard had several platforms. We took the first one which had around 33 bays for buses to enter. Most of them had buses waiting for departure. Every bay had indication boards in English and Tamil and the buses also displayed their destinations. It was really very easy even for a foreigner to identify the bay which could take him/her where ever one wished to go. Many of the buses we came across were long distance ones going to or coming from  different states. The platforms for destinations within the state were different. In all there were 6  platforms but we also saw buses stationed outside this area.



The Bus terminus has an area of some 36.5 acres (148,000 m2). We understand that the terminus handles around 500 buses at a time 3000 buses and 2,50,000 passengers a day. Really unbelievable. The parking space for vehicles seemed to be quite comfortable and then there is a double basement parking structure to accommodate nearly 3000 two wheelers.



We walked to the extreme end of the terminus and took a right turn which opens on the Kaliamman Street. All the buses go that way and there is a shaded pathway for pedestrians. From there we went to the junction  on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road and came to see an outlet of a renowned sweet shop. Could not resist buying some sweets for children at home. It was already dark by that time and while passing through the road, we could get a snap of the Bus terminus which looked beautiful when it was lit.


It was Mr. R Sudhir Kumar who actually made me to make out a post on this wonderful Bus Station. Sudhir is a wonderful photographer too and has a beautiful blog here.  

39 comments:

  1. Indeed, this looks like an airport in place with all the amenities to facilitate the passengers and tourists alike. What's striking though is the cleanliness, kudos to the authorities for maintaining it so well. Wonderful post, I really enjoyed reading about it.

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  2. I found the incident of being questioned for not carrying luggage very interesting!

    We are also in the process of revamping our Interstate Bus Terminals in delhi, and I hope, we shall be able to impress you just as much if you ever come to Delhi in future.

    The photos have come out well, but I am not sure of the subject in which high rise buildings can be seen. Is it the Kaliamman Street?

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    1. Thanks Anupama. The high rise buildings are at the Jawaharlal Nehru Road Junction from where we turn to the famous market on the Kaliamman Street.

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  3. It looks wonderful! ever since this one has been built, i have heard of it and wanted to go, but havent even seen it yet :( but i remember going to the market there long back.. seem to have missed that post, so will go there now,.

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    1. Thanks Anu. I have been missing you for quite some time.

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  4. bLESSINGS....

    Wow, its quite a sight. Indeed it looks like an airport. wow, I wonder at the resources it must have taken to build such a large terminal.

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  5. interesting post...

    and info and photos

    thanks

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  6. Very interesting and informative!

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  7. Amazing the visit was worth…
    chennaiflowerplaza.com

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  8. This is awesome.
    Very airy and roomy (and clean)
    I like the view by night.

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  9. This is a good but terminus. I had gone there 2-3 times and liked it. It doesn't look like our city's at all. It is mostly clean also.

    Thanks for the pictures.

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  10. I remember going there immediately after inaugration and was awestruck by the scale of the project...but slowly in the years to come it lost its glamor due to the flith and poor maintenance. All said, its still a wonder!

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  11. Kudos to you for taking such great efforts to visit this place and post such detailed facts and figures laced with some wonderful photographs. This is perhaps the swankiest bus terminus in India with such fantastic facilities and conveniences !

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  12. Walking all the way and back should have been tiring. The night view shot looks good. Maybe because I always go in a hurry, I never stopped to look at how beautiful the dome looks in the night! One more good thing about this bus-stand is, there are buses to almost everywhere within chennai.

    When I was in Bangalore, I always took the KSRTC bus to Chennai because it stops inside this bus-stand and even at 5:00 AM in the morning, I can get a bus to my house. The only bad thing about this bus-stand is, both the CM's claiming that it was their dream project and laying their respective name plaque in each gate.

    Destination Infinity

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  13. wow this looks so beautiful, I have seen some very good buildings come up in india. The bus station looks so clean and tidy ..

    would visit it some day ..

    Bikram's

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  14. Chennai does have some special places, fit to be called a Metro. I am very happy that Chennai has a world class Bus station. Hopefully , it will remain so.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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  15. I have used it once while going to Puducherry from Chennai. Its nice and clean.

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  16. quite interesting!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  17. Wonderful shots of the place. I never knew this fact before.

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  18. Wow ,this is huge and very impressive.Your posts are making me want to visit Chennai.Finger crossed.Thanks for the nice description and wonderful pictures.Regards.

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  19. Great Information- thanks a lot!!

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  20. Good to go through this informative pictorial post which gives a feel of the said Tajmahal of chennai (south India).IGI New Delhi now carries its own charm comparable to any other international facility .

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  21. That was might kind of you PNS sab to credit me and thanks for the kind words too. Enjoyed reading the article.

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  22. Hi P.N.! Today is a holiday in Portugal, but it’s the worst winter day we had since last October... As grey as if we were living in Northern Europe... So, the only right thing to do is surfing the Net... ;)

    500 buses at a time? Incredible...

    Blogtrotter Two is now in St. Kitts and Nevis... Enjoy and have a great week!!!

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  23. Wonderfully modern bus station!
    Real gem for the city!
    Your photos are wonderful!
    I wish you a nice weekend!

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  24. This is news to me. The station looks enormous, very spacious with many modern facilities. Fabulous. Lovely photos.

    Best wishes,
    Joseph

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  25. What an amazing post- and the pictures just really made it all the more wonderful- I could follow everything well. It does make me want to go back for another visit- things are sooo changed now!!

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  26. Wow! Thanks for sharing. So good to know we too have clean and spacious bus terminus here in our country.
    Pictures are great with your wonderful narration.

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  27. Brilliant stuff!
    Gurgaonflowerplaza.com

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  28. I have seen it from outside.
    Beautiful pics!!

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  29. Wow! I had heard about it. Very modern and clean bus station. Your post is so informative.

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  30. Good one...
    http://www.gujaratonnet.com

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  31. It looks and sounds impressive!
    It'll be interesting to learn from people who depend on buses as their means of transportation, about its efficacity. Sometimes one gets lost in these huge, modern places.

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  32. very nice of you sir having given this information. Thank you very much sir

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  33. TicketGoose.com Launched in August 2007 has been a leader in Ticketing Web Portal for Booking of Bus Tickets.They operate over 3000 Destinations in South India and have collaboration with more than 250 Travel Agents.

    Kaleswari Travels

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