Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is India's toughest and most demanding motorsport rally which happens in Northern states of India - mainly Himachal Pradesh and J&K. Raid De Himalaya is open for both car and bike enthusiasts .... and for professional as well as amateur motorsport lovers. Let's have a quick PHOTO JOURNEY by Varun Chaudhary (from Raid de Himalaya 2011)
This journey is only covering some of the action shots of cars and another photo journey on bikes will follow soon... Above photograph shows a car flying across the snow covered hills and monasteries on the way while going towards J&K....
The participants drive through some of the world's highest motorable roads and passes in the Himalayas like Jalori Pass, Rohtang Pass, Kunzum La, Baralacha La, Tanglang La & Khardung La, through really difficult terrains in Lahual and Spiti valleys in the Ladakh region.
During Raid de Himalayas, all participants need to take care of their food on their own. Folks from various parts of country and world come to Himachal for Raid de Himalayas. Many folks have real craze about riding in Himalayas and face the real challenge in the world of motorsports.
Most of the drive is through snow covered hills of Himalayas, beautiful water streams and at times, temperature below -15 degree Celsius. On an average, a participant covers a distance of 300 kms every day in this approximately 1800 km and week-long motoring event.
During the Raid, environment changes suddenly... These cars move so fast and suddenly snow covered hills touch to a land with rocky & dry hills... Most of the vehicles used during the rally for marked fit before start, otherwise folks are not allowed to continue to take care of security of participants.
Maruti Suzuki and Himalayan Motorsport Association organize the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya every year which actually need hard work and preparations. Spirit of motoring enthusiasts and Maruti Suzuki's commitment to promote motorsport in India has kept it going - year after year.
It's always a wonderful experience to capture these folks at special moments with special effects.... Panning could be one of the very good ways of showing real action during Raid de Himalaya !!!
Big credit of successful execution goes to Mr. Vijay Parmar, President, Himalayan Motorsports. He has been instrumental in upbringing Raid to this level !!! Extremely high quality standards are maintained during the rally and all this needs professional folks to lead. And no doubt professional team is always important to make such event successful and memorable.
If I clearly read, it's Sarachu written over the meter-board on road-side...
Aneesh is one of the enthusiastic biker and navigator of this car... Aneesh has been involved in manyu such motorsport events in North India. He also played a key role in making F1 successful !!!
Every year, more and more people participate in the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya and some of them from abroad as well.
Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is the only Indian motorsport event listed on the off-road rallies calendar of FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme), Geneva, Switzerland. Only 12 international motoring events world-wide are listed in this calendar.
The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya is held around October, just before the onset of winters in the Himalayan region and passes through lot of snow covered hills !!!
The Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya runs in three separate versions: Xtreme, Adventure Trial and Bike Xtreme !!!
Xtreme is the toughest of Raid de Himalaya and it's open only to those 4 wheeler drivers who have prior rallying experience and have competed in one of the earlier editions of the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya or Maruti Suzuki Rally Desert Storm.
Adventure Trial is open to those motor-sports enthusiasts who would like to take on the Himalayas but without the tough competition, difficulty and stress involved in the Xtreme. This section is open only to stock cars and only certain safety related modifications would be allowed in the competing cars. This is where first timers would fit in... Car Category & SUV Category
Bikes Xtreme is open to bikes of all types and makes but there are certain regulations that they have to adhere to. The bikers are probably the bravest of the Raiders, as they have to face the hostile weather, terrain without the comforts of a cabin surrounding them.
Some of the online media websites regularly track the progress of this one week long rally - Raid de Himalaya... One of the example can be seen at http://hillpost.in/category/sports/raid-de-himalaya
All these colorful cars in various sizes, shapes and models don't run but literally fly in air. Each car rider need to come with a navigator who can guide the rider about appropriate details about location, distance, timing and other security measures about controls etc.
Also each team to make sure that helping car is coming along which has all necessary equipments for repairing the cars/bikes if needed... Many times these enthusiasts know much about their cars/bikes, but it's preferred to have specialists with them to be on safer side.
It's of course an expensive affair and many folks get appropriate sponsorships to join such rallies. From vehicle to maintenance and all other miscellaneous expenses are too much... Even most of the vehicles are very well designed for such rallied.... They need to be really special to be a part of Raid de Himalaya....
Raid de Himalaya 2011 was 13th event and 150+ participants came this time !!!
So here ends the cars rally during Raid de Himalaya 2011 and Bikers rally will follow soon... Varun Chaudhary who clicked all these photographs can reached at -