New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) In all, 151 teams, including an all-woman crew entered by the Indian Army, will be participating in the Maruti Suzuki 15th Raid de Himalaya rally that will be flagged off from Shimla Oct 5 and conclude at Leh Oct 12.
The entry list also includes six scooters, which will be making their debut in the rally that will cover about 1,800 km, traversing through some of the toughest and treacherous Himalayan terrain.
As in the past, the event has been segregated into two different routes for X-Treme and Adventure categories. Heading the list is eight-time winner Suresh Rana and C.S. Santosh from Bangalore, who is back to defend his title in two-wheeler category despite having suffered third-degree burns during an event at Abu Dhabi in April.
After a ceremonial flag-off from Shimla, the rally travels to Manali during the first competition leg next day. After crossing over Rohtang pass, the rally will negotiate the stretch before it enters Spiti Valley Oct 7 where it will pass by the world famous Buddhist necklace monasteries and some of the highest permanent settlements of Asia.
The rally will then proceed towards Keylong, cross over Baralachala to enter more plains and Pang. Braving the extreme climate of this part of Himalayan cold desert and moving into Tanglang La, the second highest motorable pass in the world, the rally will enter Leh.
Yet another round of motoring thrill around Leh circuit will see the rallyists heading to reach the top of Khardungla, the highest motorable road in the world. With this leg, the rally will come to an end and winners will be declared, followed by a prize ceremony Oct 12.