Mahin­dra Great Es­cape

Hard­core off-road ac­tion in Sak­lesh­pur

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Most man­u­fac­tur­ers in­volved in the busi­ness of sell­ing SUVs or­gan­ise off-road camps of sorts to show­case the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of their ve­hi­cles to ex­ist­ing and prospec­tive cus­tomers. These cour­ses are specif­i­cally cu­rated to make the car and novices like you and me look like he­roes. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ques­tion­ing the le­git­i­macy of the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ claims about the off-road prow­ess of their ve­hi­cles, but the chal­lenge they of­fer is well within the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the ve­hi­cles. This means that it is un­likely that you will find your­self in a sticky sit­u­a­tion. Mahin­dra, how­ever, does things a bit dif­fer­ently, as I dis­cov­ered dur­ing the week­end long Great Es­cape in Sak­lesh­pur. In a nut­shell, you hop into your 4x4 and drive off into the

jun­gle. Quite literally!

The 21,000 acre Kadamane Tea Es­tate was the set­ting for our off-road so­journ. This lo­ca­tion has been a regualr fea­ture of the Mahin­dra Ad­ven­ture cal­en­dar. While a size­able chunk acts as a tea plan­ta­tion, as the name sug­gests, the bulk of the land has been left un­touched and is draped in green en­com­pass­ing hills and small streams. The ob­sta­cles are all nat­u­ral and prove to be a gen­uine test of a ve­hi­cle's ca­pa­bil­i­ties and a driver's skills. What makes it even more real is the cus­tomers bring their own cars. The sup­port pro-

THERE WERE SPOTS WHERE WE, IN­CLUD­ING OTH­ERS, GOT STUCK AND HAD TO BE WINCHED OUT. DAM­AGED FUEL TANKS, MUD­DIED CLOTHES AND BRUISED EGOS ARE PAR FOR THE COURSE

vided by Mahin­dra gives own­ers the con­fi­dence to test their ve­hi­cles to the ex­treme since help will al­ways be at hand in case things go south.

There are high chances of that hap­pen­ing, as we ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand. There were spots where we, in­clud­ing oth­ers, got stuck and had to be winched out. Ap­par­ently, a lack of rain meant that the num­ber of ve­hi­cles that re­quired res­cu­ing was much less com­pared to pre­vi­ous edi­tions. Dam­aged fuel tanks, mud­died clothes and bruised egos are par for the course as you will in­evitably trip and fall. But the beauty of Great Es­cape lies in the fact that since ev­ery ob­sta­cle, ev­ery chal­lenge is nat­u­ral, it keeps driv­ers from gain­ing a false sense of ac­com­plish­ment a begin­ner level spe­cially crafted course might give. It is a great way to learn how to tackle var­i­ous ter­rains and how to make the best use of the ma­chin­ery at hand. And events like this act as a great show­case of the mod­i­fi­ca­tion po­ten­tial Mahin­dra's ve­hi­cles pos­sess. In at­ten­dance were stock Thars and heav­ily cus­tom­ized ones, as well as some clas­sic Mahin­dra prod­ucts. It also gives en­thu­si­asts an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with like­minded peo­ple.

The bulk of the convoy com­prised of Mahin­dra Thars. Some were in stockform while there were quite few that had un­der­gone ex­ten­sive cus­tom work to make even more ca­pa­ble off the road than they al­ready are

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