Tata SUV owners embark on a journey to explore the jungles of central India and Khajuraho
IT’S A COMMUNITY unlike any other for the Tata Motors SUV owners, aptly called SOUL – short for SUV (originally Safari) Owners United League. While it all started with the now iconic Tata Safari, SOUL has expanded its horizons to include owners of any Tata Motors SUV, including the award winning Hexa. This community of like-minded SUV owners however isn’t willing to use the high ground clearance of their vehicles only over India’s urban jungle. They’d rather get out of the ‘hood and have some fun. That’s where the SUVs belong, anyway.
SOUL kicked off 2017 with a grand fiveday expedition to Khajuraho from Nagpur, taking the wild route to explore the forest of Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Owners from as far as Kochi had come to participate in this iconic drive.
Tata SUV owners from around the country assembled at the Tata Motors dealership in Nagpur, from where the Jungle Trail was flagged off. On day one
of the drive a convoy of ten SUVs drove the 250km to their first destination – the Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
The setting of Kipling’s legendary ‘The Jungle Book’, Kanha is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the elusive Bengal tiger and the even more reclusive leopard. Even if you don’t get a glimpse of these fantastic beasts, you can still catch glimpses of animals like the Indian sloth bear, the Indian wild dog, nilgai, spotted deer and barking deer.
The group put up at the exotic Taj Banjaar Tola that overlooks the Banjaar river which provided the perfect atmosphere for a night in the forest. Adding drama to all the excitement, the SOUL members even forded the river in their SUVs, in the dark. In fact, the night drive through the forest was one of the most adventurous activities of the drive.
The 200km from Kanha to Bandhavgarh were done easily with the Tata SUVs cruising comfortably on Madhya Pradesh’s highways. Like Kanha, the primary reason to visit Bandhavgarh would be Shere Khan of course, and may be even leopards. While none were lucky enough to spot the magnificent cat, they did see pugmarks, which added to the excitement.
After feeling at home in the forests, the Hexas and Safaris hit the road again. With their stout bonnets pointed firmly in the direction of Khajuraho, the convoy covered the 225km without a hitch. At the UNESCO World Heritage site, the participants had a full day to explore and marvel at the phenomenally beautiful art and architecture of this ancient city.
Many hundred selfies, Instagrams, Facebook posts and hashtags later, the five-day drive through the jungles of MP culminated at one of the most wondrous historical sites in the world. The trip was an opportunity for the SOUL brotherhood to expand its reach further.
SOUL was first established as an online platform in early 2014 for like-minded Safari owners to come together and share their common passion. Since then owners have gathered for many drives to places like Lonavala, Coorg, etc.
SOUL continues to organise fantastic trips. For a full calendar of activities, log on to the Tata Motors SOUL website. ⌧
SOUL members even forded the Banjaar river in
5 1: Hexa joins the SOUL family. 2: The convoy of Tata SUVs before the flag-off from Nagpur. 3: Been there, done that. 4: Tata Xenon sporting the Land Rover’s wild colours. 5: Eyes on the road, please. 6: Rumble in the jungle