It's safe to assume that quite a number of us enjoy the smooth and comfortable feel of tarmac. A tarmac road makes you feel safe, makes you go fast, makes long journeys possible, what more can one ask for? Right? Wrong. There are some among us that know, life isn’t as smooth as tarmac, that it takes a lot of ups and downs to make a life exciting to live. As our luck would have it, we got a chance to attend the Thar Fest 2019 and also witness this year's Mahindra Adventure Club Challenge to find out more about the people that like to live life off the beaten path.
Now we all already know that Mahindra has always made vehicles that can handle the rough stuff with ease. Case in point, the Bolero, Armada, Scorpio, MM 540 and, of course, the Thar. In fact, Mahindra’s philosophy has been to create vehicles that are truly utilitarian in nature.
This formula has worked wonders for the homegrown company which has tackled some of the harshest terrains our vast country has to offer. So in order to take off-roading in India to the next level, Mahindra Adventure, headed by Bijoy Kumar Y, Chief of Adventure Initiatives, has been organizing the Mahindra Thar Fest in India.
The third edition of Thar Fest included the fourth edition of the Mahindra Adventure ‘Club Challenge’ where the top 11 off-roading clubs from across the country. Spectators, witnessing the day-long festival, also indulged in other activities like the Thar Parade, 4*4 Experience Zone, Heritage Mahindra Display, Customised Vehicle Display, and Live Music performance.
What’s interesting to note is that all of the events involved in the Adventure Club Challenge were based around teamwork rather than individual performance. Some of the obstacles were the famous ‘Demolition Derby’, an event where the off-road vehicles had to negotiate a path over a pile of junk vehicles. Another long-standing obstacle was ‘Pass the Baton’ where all classes of vehicles run a relay format of driving and have to pass the baton from one vehicle to another and cross the finish line.
And if all this too much to handle, Mahindra Adventure had even organised a little competition between the journalists, so even we got a chance to kick it the mud, which, to say the least, was very very good fun. Once you’re at the wheel and starting off, that’s when you realize the finesse and precision required to complete an off-road course. Although victory did not come our way, it was an absolutely brilliant learning experience.
After battling it out for over two days and 8 obstacles, the overall winner trophy was presented to Kannur Riders and Off-Roaders Club (KROC). The first runner up title was won by Bangalore Off-Road Driver’s Association (BODA), while Northern India Off-Road Club (NIOC) bagged the second runner up title.
All in all, the Mahindra Thar Fest 2019 was a great spectacle thanks to the 11 off-road clubs which battled it out. But one thing that’s easy to forget is the sheer number of people that came to witness this off-roading event. Even in the blistering heat, crowds thoroughly enjoyed the different kinds of Mahindra Thar SUVs tackling various kinds of obstacles, and, for that, the Thar Fest 2019 was a definite success.