The hill stations of northern India are known for being quiet and secluded destinations preferred by holiday-makers of a somewhat tranquil incline. But this October, the serenity of these environs is likely to be broken by the roar of the four-stroke engine as the holiday belt turns into petrol-head heaven for a week.
The Maruti Suzuki Raid-De-Himalaya, world’s highest altitude off-road motoring rally, will be inaugurated in Shimla on 9 October, with around 150 competitors raring to have a go at their wheels.
After the security checks and the ceremonial flag off on 10 October in Shimla, the rally heads over to Manali, Dalhousie and Rangdum in the following days, and concludes on 17 October in Srinagar. Driving acumen isn’t the only skill required to excel at Raid-De-Himalaya, now in its 17th edition. The event, organised by Himalayan Motorsport, is also a test of physical strength for the participants, who will have to face challenges like low oxygen levels and sub-zero temperatures when the rally reaches its highest points at over 15,000 feet above sea level.