In Pics: The Evolution of Prakash Tourist Buses Over the Last 50 Years

Take a nostalgic journey through time with Prakash Tourist Buses! Explore a collection of captivating images showcasing the evolution of Prakash buses, from vintage charm to modern luxury. Discover how these iconic coaches shaped India’s tourism industry.

S.M. Kannappa Automobiles Pvt. Ltd., also known as Prakash Bus Body Builders factory image from 1969
S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd.

For over 50 years, S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd., the company behind the Prakash bus brand, has been counted among the best bus body builders in India.

Their legacy is etched on the roads of India.

I think we can unanimously agree that it was Prakash tourist buses that revolutionized bus travel in India.

Back in the 1970s, bus designs were very basic and comfort was a distant dream.

And then Prakash Bus Body Builders emerged as a savior and introduced buses that re-defined travel experiences.

Their designs were so innovative and passenger-centric that everyone aspired to travel on a Prakash tourist bus.

This wasn’t just a mode of transportation; it was a symbol of comfort and a promise of a delightful journey.

What’s more impressive is that Prakash Bus Body Builders has maintained this commitment to excellence over the years.

They’ve consistently pushed the boundaries with aesthetic designs, keeping their buses at the forefront of the market.

Wouldn’t you concur that even today, the Prakash Capella remains at the forefront in terms of aesthetics, design, and quality?

Over the last 50 years, Prakash Bus Body Builders has left an indelible mark on the bus industry with their unchallenged legacy of innovation and quality craftsmanship.

And to celebrate this legacy, let’s embark on a nostalgic journey to explore the evolution of Prakash tourist buses throughout the ages, revisiting some of the most iconic tourist buses that shaped the bus industry in India.

The Formative Years of Prakash Bus Body Builders (1969 – 1980)

A MVT – LCV TYPE bus built by Prakash Bus Body Builders. It was among the first bus built by Prakash Bud Body Builders
Prakash MVT – LCV TYPE bus

Immediately following the establishment of S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd., in 1968, the company set out to introduce buses that were distinctly different from the prevailing models in India at that time.

By 1969, the company embarked on its journey with the introduction of its range of MVT – LCV TYPE buses, and by 1972, it had expanded its offerings to include city buses.

The Iconic Chrome Grill (1980 – 1990)

The first intercity Prakash tourist bus launched in 1980
First intercity bus model by Prakash Bus Body Builders

In 1982, S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd., marked a significant milestone with the launch of its first intercity bus, setting the stage for a transformative journey that would redefine the way India traveled by bus.

The iconic chrome grill featured in these buses continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Indian passengers.

Image of SM Kannapa's bus model named Prakash launched in 1988. The name "Prakash" soon became synonymous with excellence, prompting S.M. Kannappa to consolidate their bus manufacturing efforts under this iconic brand.
S.M. Kannappa’s Prakash Model

In 1988, the company introduced the Prakash model, a groundbreaking addition to its lineup.

The name “Prakash” soon became synonymous with excellence, prompting S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd., to consolidate their bus manufacturing efforts under this iconic brand.

Age of Hi-Tech Buses (1990 – 2000)

Vintage Prakash Hi-tech bus launched in 1991
Prakash Hi-Tech bus launched in 1991

In 1991, Prakash made news by introducing India’s first Hi-Tech bus body, signaling a monumental leap forward in the evolution of the Indian bus industry.

In 1995, the company made a significant leap forward with the introduction of the first luxury Prakash tourist buses, the P 7000 and P 8000 models.

A vintage Prakash tourist bus from early 2000s boxy design, round headlights, and a single entrance door.
Prakash P 5000 launched in 1999. Source Picasa/Sunil Kumar

In 1999, Prakash launched the P 5000 luxury bus. Known colloquially as the Honda model, it quickly gained popularity across India.

Setting New Benchmarks (2000 – 2010)

Image of vintage Prakash bus. Name of Model is P 6000 introduced in 2000.
Prakash P 6000 launched in 2003.

By the dawn of the new millennium, Prakash had already embossed its dominance over the Indian bus industry and released the P 6000 luxury bus in 2003 – a unique model that sported a very unconventional fascia.

Vintage sleeper bus built by Prakash Bus Body Builders for VRL Travels
Prakash P 8000 Sleeper Bus launched in 2004.

In 2004, Prakash etched its name in history with the introduction of the P 8000 series, its inaugural sleeper buses – a coach type that remains favored by passengers to this day.

Over the decade it launched a string of successful bus models, including the P 8000 BMR bus series.

Pinnacle of Engineering Excellence (2010 – Present)

A Prakash tourist bus owned by SRS Travels. The bus model is Zedone released in 2010
Prakash Zedone launched in 2010. Source: Hemant M. Bhatt

Prakash Bus Body Builders kicked off the new year with the debut of their latest model – the Zedone, marking yet another triumph in their illustrious journey within the Indian bus market.

It also launched the P 8000 Luxor on Ashok Leyland’s rear-engine chassis in 2013.

In 2015, the company introduced the immensely popular BV Maxima model, which continues to resonate with customers even today.

A Prakash tourist bus owned by MSRTC Shivsahi. The bus model is BV Maxima released in 2015
Prakash BV Maxima Plus launched in 2015. Source: Hemant M. Bhatt

In 2017, it unveiled its pinnacle of engineering excellence – the Prakash Capella, a groundbreaking model that redefined industry standards and established new benchmarks.

Capella (L) and Vega (R) built by S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd. (Prakash)
Capella (L) and Vega (R) – two of the most popular Prakash tourist bus models.

The subsequent year witnessed the introduction of the Prakash Vega, yet another celebrated addition to their lineup.

What’s your Favourite Prakash Tourist Bus Models?

Prakash Bus Body Builders has been instrumental in shaping bus travel in India, with a steadfast commitment to quality and innovation that has made their buses a preferred choice among operators and passengers alike.

While the design and technology of their buses have advanced considerably, Prakash tourist buses, particularly the iconic chrome-grilled models, continue to evoke a sense of nostalgia for many.

I am sure you too have fond memories of Prakash buses that we would love to hear.

Jump in and share your cherished memories of Prakash buses or tell us about your favorite Prakash bus models!

Let’s celebrate the enduring legacy of India’s beloved bus manufacturer together.

All images are courtesy of S.M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd., unless otherwise stated.

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