Mahindra Monsoon Challenge – Chasing the rain

Clint Thomas
Full Throttle

Monsoon in India is a symphony — trees blossom, birds in their breeding plumage sing mating songs, life-giving rain cascade down the mountains as streams and waterfalls, filling many rivers and lakes. As the monsoon season begins, Mahindra is in a mood to tame it. After many Mahindra Monsoon Challenge rallies across India, stage is set for the biggest Monsoon Challenge that starts from Bangalore and heads to the party capital Goa.

We embark on the three-day TSD rally; watch this space for all the action along 1000 kilometres spread across highways, B-roads, scenic country side and the magnificent Western Ghats.

Following is a quick breakdown of Time-Speed-Distance rallies from Bijoy Kumar, veteran automobile journalist and Chief of Adventure Initiatives, Mahindra.

Day 1, 19th July 2012

The rally is officially flagged off in the evening in a gala event at Orion Mall, Bangalore. Not much action today, the flag-off is followed by the rules briefing and safety instructions.

Day 2, 20th July 2012

The monsoon has been teasing Bangalore for quite a while with showers at awkward intervals and making the weather a crazy mix. So, in anticipation of a romantic rendezvous with the majestic monsoon, we set out from the IT capital at 8.00 am. To add the excitement, I was handed over the keys of a flashy yellow Scorpio Getaway 4X2 along with the road book and speed chart. Thankfully for the media category there were only five time checks that were completes in less than two hours. My navigator was completely exhausted after the calculations for just five time checks, which made me say hats off to the navigators in the real competition, who keep flipping the road book and tapping the calculators throughout the entire rally.

Most of today's route was along the country side of Karnataka, where we met the ones who need the monsoon the most — the farmers. However, as we passed by the lush green farmlands, the sky suddenly turned dark and the winds grew wild. Heavy rain pounded the