Motor Racers Gear Up For J&K Bank Mughal Rally

Motor Racers Gear Up For J&K Bank Mughal Rally

20 June 2012
Rising Kashmir


Srinagar: The bikers from all over India are gearing up for third edition of the J&K Bank Mughal Rally set in the sylvan heights of Kashmir on June 30 and July 1 this year. So far the only two events that host this category of racing are the Raid de Himalaya that runs over the highest mountain passes of Himachal, Ladakh and Kashmir and the Desert Storm that traverses the sandy stretches of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Launched in 2010 as a rally for SUVs and cars, the Mughal Rally has already emerged as one of the biggest and tightly contested events on the Indian motorsporting scenario. Bikers will be part of the Moto-quads section which in turn comes under the Rally Xtreme category of the event. This category runs to regulations specified by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing bodies for Indian and international motor sporting events respectively. So far, 17 bikers have entered the Mughal Rally this year, looking forward to taking on the historical Mughal Road after which the event is so named. Club President Vijay Parmar said that the Bikes and Quads have been included this year in the Mughal Rally on popular demand. “The Mughal Road is developing into something like the iconic Route 66 in the U.S., a journey that every motorcyclist worth his salt had to do. In India, the Leh-Manali route is now rapidly becoming something of a 'been- there-done-that' circuit, so Kashmir provides a new challenge. The twin routes over the Pir Panjal are a cult biking route in the making. Pir ki Galli and the Sinthan Pass will soon be a ‘must-do’ on the serious ' hairy biker’s' itinerary.” Of the 105 teams participating, the 4-Wheeler Xtreme has 50 SUVs and cars while the rest fall into the Enduro category. The XTreme is the out-and-out speed category while the Enduro follows the Time-Speed-Distance format. The Mughal Rally is organized by the Shimla based motorsport club Himalayan Motorsport Association, whose flagship event is the Raid de Himalaya which takes place annually every October. In the course of the Mughal Rally, bikers will ride through the Pir Panjal mountains of the Western Himalaya over heights ranging from as low as 5000 ft to as high as 14,000 ft above sea level. The motorcyclists will take on the untamed terrain and weather conditions head on. Amongst the pioneering adventurers will be Sukhwant Basra, Sports Head at the Hindustan Times Delhi and a veteran off-road biker; Gurjinder Singh, the 36 year old industrial magnate from Punjab’s steel town Mandi Gobindgarh, and Navendu Singh, a 37 year old software engineer from Pune. For the latter two, the Mughal Rally will be their second competitive event. Another veteran will be Vishal Das, a 30 year old website designer from Kolkata who has over 70 rallies under his belt. The stage is now set. The road travelled by Emperor Akbar and later Mughal Emperors through Kashmir promises to be the scene of some high racing drama in the days to come.