Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatraya inaugurated the Himalayan Challenge on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a thrilling nine-day expedition. Motorsports enthusiasts from various parts of the country gathered in Chandigarh to embark on this journey.
The Himalayan Challenge follows the route of the Himalayan Rally of 1982, taking participants to some of the most breathtaking landscapes – such as Leh and Pangong Tso lake, and culminating at the highest motorable road in the world, the Umling La pass, at an altitude of 19,300 feet.
The participants will traverse through five high mountain passes, each presenting its own set of challenges. Among the notable passes on this scenic route are the Rohtang La (3,978 metres), BaraLacha La (4,850 meters), Tanglang La, and Shunkula Pass, each offering a unique blend of adventure and beauty. The route will also cover places like Sonamarg and Kargil in Kashmir, apart from Hanle and return to Manali on October 4.
This non-competitive expedition, organised by Firefox, is an opportunity for motorsport aficionados to come together for their shared passion for adventure and speed.
Along with the thrill of driving on challenging routes, participants will be treated to panoramic vistas. As the expedition progresses, the participants are likely to face unpredictable weather conditions of the region. Temperatures drop as low as six degrees Celsius during nighttime with the average around 16 degrees Celsius during the day.
“This is the third Himalayan Challenge and it is being held on some of the most challenging routes in the Himalayas. While the first two editions were held on the route of the Himalayan Rally, this edition is being staged on the reverse great Himalayan rally route,” said Rajan Syal, director, Team Firefox and a former rallyist.
The rally is witnessing the participation of three classic cars manufactured between 1955 and 1996 and 61 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
“More than 180 persons, including rallyists and their families, are taking part in the challenge. There are 55 women and 16 foreigners in the convoy. We will be ensuring that the health of all the participants is monitored every day and the cars too are inspected every day,” said Syal.