New Delhi: Extreme overlanding pioneers ‘Women Beyond Boundaries’ (WBB), in association with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) recently concluded the historic ‘Mustang Overland Drive. They became the world’s first all-women drivers crew, amongst others to reached Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang, Northern Nepal under its Mahindra Adventure umbrella brand.
The fleet managed to conquer one of the three most treacherous and challenging roads in the Himalayan belt (India, Nepal, and Bhutan put together). This drive lived up to the Mahindra philosophy of First Time Right as Mahindra, an Indian Manufacturer supported the convoy of vehicles successfully reached Lo Mathang for the first time.
Nidhi Tiwari, an accomplished extreme terrain driver, led the expedition and was supported by the experienced Mahindra Adventure officials who ensured the convoy’s expedition-ready Mahindra Scorpio 4x4s ran trouble free even with an average odometer reading of over 70,000 kilometers on them.
The expedition set off from New Delhi with eighteen adventurers, spearheaded by five women drivers, covering 3000kms over a span of thirteen days in seven 4WD Mahindra Scorpios and one Mahindra Thar. The convoy entered Nepal via Gorakhpur, making their way into the pretty Pokhara Valley. Further, they picked their way along the tricky, nearly non-existent Himalayan roads as they made their way into the Mustang Valley, negotiating a daunting mix of terrain from river beds, rocky sections, gravel, mud tracks, slush and multiple river crossings.
An erstwhile kingdom, Mustang borders the Tibetan plateau. The Old Silk Route that descended into Nepal from the Kashgar region (now in China), wound its way through the valley. With an average elevation of around 13,000 feet, the area hosts two of the higher peaks in the Greater Himalayas that stand above 8,000m – the Dhaulagiri & Annapurna mastiffs. The entire expedition consisted of challenging routes that encircled the mighty Annapurna peak. It spiraled its way through a picturesque assortment of landscapes including lush forests, Kali Gandaki river gorge (the deepest gorge in the world), high altitude deserts and snow.