Here at IAB, we have the habit of soiling our clothes and ruining our shoes all in the name of ‘Off roading fun’. We got behind the wheels of go anywhere Polaris ATV, we drove a couple of BMWs through a challenging terrain. Finally, we participated in the Mecca of off roading events – Mahindra Great Escape.
The Mahindra Great Escape is a series of off roading events that are held annually where Mahindra customers get to experience their vehicles in their natural habitat. It was conceptualized in 1996 and as of right now a total of 78 events have taken place. Right from the challenging terrain of Leh to the sand dunes of Mandwa to the coffee gardens of Mysore, you name it and Mahindra has been there organizing such rallies.
IAB attended the Great Escape organized in Saklespur because it was the toughest terrain that Mahindra could offer its customers. The terrain was so challenging that only 4X4 SUVs were allowed to participate in the event. The event was held at the very scenic Tusk and Dawn resort in Sakleshpur. It started early morning with a nice breakfast at the venue. As I gorged on uttapams and idlis, participants started arriving at the venue in their cherished 4X4s.
Over 60 Off roading enthusiasts from Sakleshpur, Mangalore, Bengaluru and Mysore made a beeline to the event. Some had customized exhaust pipes, huge grippy wheels, tricked out engines - the lot! At the same time, there were very old jeeps which I doubted would make it to the finish (Boy! was I wrong). The event kicked off with a flag off from the regional head of Mahindra Automotive. Over 60 engines fired up at that very moment, it was bliss!
Soon after the flag off, we came across our first challenge - small stream of water which was pretty easy. The excited off roaders splashed and dashed through the stream in full glory.
Next challenge was a steep hill climb which was very challenging because the road up was very slippery and full of rocks.
What goes up must comes down. So the next challenge took us downwards through a steep hill again full of rocks.
Next up was a slightly bigger stream giving an opportunity for a much bigger splash and much more drama. Although it is advised to not splash as it may spill a lot of water on the windshield, blinding you for a few seconds, but it’s like a the cautionary warning on the cigarette packet – you just want to do the opposite!
Up next was the toughest challenge that would send jitters down the spine of the most seasoned off roaders. It was a deep river crossing coupled with a steep hill climb. The challenge was to not get stuck in the slush, dive into the river, fight the slush on the other end and climb all the way to the top. All cars had to engage their low ratio gearbox for this challenge.
Only the marshal car managed to do it without any assistance. Most participants got stuck in the slush, spinning their tires and burning their clutches. Almost all of them were winched out by the marshal car. We definitely needed a break after completing this stupendous challenge.
After the river crossing, we headed to the coffee fields for some scenic off roading. The route was very much relaxed and the scenery was breath taking!
This scenic off roading gave us participants an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate for the next challenge – thick jungles!
The path was very slippery thanks to an early morning downpour. The SUVs were slipping and sliding on their way but their owners kept their cool and soldiered on.
After the thick jungles, there was some little more splash and dash on a small stream crossing and off we head to the final leg of the journey – an exquisite view hidden somewhere in the mountain ranges.
The view was indeed breath taking and more importantly most of the jeeps had made it this far without any breakdown. We rested there, in the heart of the jungle, and soaked in the scenery.
Unfortunately, there was one accident reminding us that it is not all fun and games. You need to be very careful when embarking on such treacherous conditions. Gladly, there was no human casualty.
Finally, everybody headed back to base where we enjoyed sumptuous lunch before calling it a day. And indeed it was a memorable one!
Want to see more pictures? We are happy to oblige;)
Mahindra Great Escape Image Gallery
can't see the image slideshow above? Head over to the Mahindra Great Escape Flickr Photo Page.