This year, the 15th Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya will be featuring round about 150 teams. These teams will have more than 250 participants participating in it. The vehicles are either in four wheeler or two wheeler sections, who will brave the unwelcoming terrains and extreme weather conditions of the Western Himalayas in order to compete for the top prize. In addition, this rally is amongst the highest-ever participation and the toughest rallies in the world. Adding more delight to the adventure and excitement this year will be an all new scooters’ category is added to it and a large brigade of female contingent is participating in it.
The rally, which is all scheduled to get flagged off from Shimla on October 6, will be running again in two different routes. The routes are named as X-Treme and Adventue categories. Apart from the eight-time winner Mr. Suresh Rana, this year’s rally i.e. Raid-De-Himalaya will have an all women’s team from prestigious Indian Army for the first time. And besides six brave motorsport enthusiasts who will be traversing through the unfriendly and inhospitable routes on scooters under the tab of Xtreme category. From the IT city of South i.e. Bangalore, CS Santosh will be back to defend his title under the two wheeler category, despite having third degree burns at Abu Dhabi in April.
The motorsports show will be traversing a distance of approximately 1800 in six legs spread over as many days. After the ceremonial flag-off from Shimla on Oct 5, the rally will initially move to Manali during the first competition leg next day. After crossing over the Ravishing Rohtang pass, the rally will negotiate the treacherous stretch before it enters the cold desert, Spiti valley on October 7.
During the ride in Spiti valley, the rally will be passing through the world famous Buddhist Monastery and, it will also be traversing some of the highest permanent settlements of Asia. The rally will then be proceeding towards Keylong by crossing over Baralachala to enter Pang. After crossing over Tanglang La, which is known to be the second highest motorable pass in the world and then finally the rally will entering Leh.
The thrill of Rally doesn’t end here as another round of motoring thrill circuit will see rallyists. They will be negotiating hard to reach the top of Khardungla, which is renowned as the highest motorable road in the world. With this leg, this adventures rally will come to an end and the winners will be declared, followed by a grand prize that will be given during a ceremony on October 12 at Leh.