Mahindra Great Escape 2017 : Wayanad

What is the first thing that comes into the head(ok, mind) when you listen to the word “Jeeeep”

September 2017 : Compass? Wrangler? or the mighty Cherokee?

Flashback 2016 : Probably the first “car” that would strike our mind was the “Thar”

Mahindra decided to take on the No-Man’s-land by launching the “Thar” in 2010. This redefined the Indian off-roading scene.

The 144th edition of the Mahindra Great Escape – one of India’s most popular off-roading adventures, concluded successfully in Wayanad, with 66 SUV’s from Mahindra’s stable manoeuvring the challenging route. This Great Escape saw participation from Mahindra customers from Wayanad, Kochi and other neighbouring areas.

Set amidst the tea plantations and thick foliage, Wayanad offered a challenging setting for a day of fun-filled off-roading. Incessant rains further made the off-road environment more stimulating making the route and obstacles slippery and challenging. Wayanad Great Escape provided the perfect playground for participants to test their 4×4 vehicle.

The event consisted of 2 parallel circuits (You could take part in either of them not both)

1. Trail drive : Set amongst the beautiful lush extra-green tea estates. Let’s you crawl at a steady pace amongst other participants. Yeah, you can get plenty of those selfie’s and DP’s for the rest of the year.

2. Off-road trophy : Not for the faint-hearted. Period.

The event was flagged from Chateau woods, Boutique Estate in Wayanad and saw participation from the entire gamut of Mahindra vehicles including the Scorpio, Bolero and the extreme off-roader – the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 – each representing the company’s tough and rugged DNA. These iconic Mahindra SUVs negotiated the arduous terrain and challenging obstacles and discovered what it is like to be in the lap of nature.

The drive gave customers a chance to explore the natural terrain of Wayanad and also witness the capabilities of Mahindra’s tough and rugged SUVs.

The Off-Road Trophy competitors got a chance to demonstrate their off-road driving skills through different stages of obstacles. The competitors tackled a set of four obstacles which was carefully crafted under the Mahindra Adventure team’s expertise. From steep inclines and descends to traversing over slippery boulders, each obstacle was challenging. The Off-Road Trophy participants competed fiercely in their regional rounds to be selected for the grand finale at Igatpuri, Maharashtra, the winner of which will take home a new Thar CRDe.

Results:

Stock winner 
1st place – Bino cheeramkuzhy (Driver) & Cheeramkuzhy (Navigator)

2nd place – Dhanush h.s (Driver) & Arun Vasu (Navigator)

Modified winner 
1st place – Roy George Kannanayil (Driver) & Kuravilangadu (Navigator)

2nd place – Suraj Thomas (Driver) & Vettikattu parayil (Navigator)

The winners from Wayanad Great Escape, will join winners from the Lonavala, Ahmedabad, Goa, Dehradun and Sakleshpur Great Escape and other upcoming Great Escapes like Chandigarh, Bhopal and Shillong to compete against each other in the grand finale of the Off-Roading Trophy at Igatpuri.

Before I get a Red card for the gyaan session, I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

Time to re-fill your coffee mugs 

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This monster had a dedicated flat-bed truck to ferry it to the location
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The line-up comprised of stock and modified Jeeps/Bolero’s/Scorpio’s

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Perfect stage for the event
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Flag-off
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Who said only cars are convertibles?
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The black beauty with the LED bar attracted lot of eyeballs 
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Oh yes, I do not need a windshield!
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Shoot time
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Enthusiasts from every art of the Country made it to the excursion 
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Oh boy! what a lovely color that was
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You got to be rescued with a winch when you take a 2WD car to a 4WD event, Sadly this Scorpio had to go back home
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When you don’t have a Thar, you make one look like
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For starters, A Snorkel, when fitted to your four wheel drive, moves the engine air intake from under your bonnet, to roof height to raise the level of the air intake to reduce the chance of water entering your engine when crossing water.

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One of the rare Jeeps with a hard top 
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Time for some action 

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Age is just a number
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Every Jeep has its own story to narrate
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You cannot afford to make mistakes in the Jungle, the rescue Thar arrived 30 min later and it was a matter of 5 min to pull its sibling out.

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The other Jeep’s made sure that they do not make the same mistake
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No, it was not all about Thar’s
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This beautiful stretch reminded of “we live young..we live free” Oh yes, It was shot in Kerala.
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The Scorpio getaway with a Snorkel, closest to being a proper overland vehicle.

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You’ve got a long way to go before you could drive one of those 

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Red is the new black

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This Jeep made a complete 180 degrees turn after hitting a obstacle 

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Winch comes to the rescue
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When nature comes between the rescue operation
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This Scorpio 4WD easily made it through, received a huge applause from the crowd

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It was a cakewalk for the Getaway

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The participants had to go a bit further to make a U-turn

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Divided by states, United by Thar
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When you are so excited to pose with the mean machine 
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Convoy of these Jeep’s in the lush green tea estates was a treat for the eyes
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Red or Black? you choose
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Enter a caption

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A customary pic
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Probably, one of the most photogenic machine ever made

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No, don’t even dream of venturing out with the Red’s
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It was late evening when we reached the obstacle round, and it was definitely not for the faint hearted
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Time for some serious off-roading

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Even the best of them had to be winched out! As the terrain was getting slushy over a period of time
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Another Thar, another Winch
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It was close to being toppled. Had to be winched out.
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hummer inspired? You bet!
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An external roll cage is strongly recommended 

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While the Thar never gave up its high spirits to fight the obstacles day & night, I gave up on my 3200D’s ability to shoot at night.

Being a part of the Mahindra Great Escape, Goa in 2016 I would vouch for the Wayanad great escape because of the lush green surroundings and the variety of Jeep Mods you get to see at this event in God’s own country. Also, the weather was an icing on the cake. While the Goan’ event had an edge over the slightly difficult terrain it offered even in the trail round, it provided an ample opportunity to the first time off-roaders to experience some good off-roading.

Untill next time..

All roads lead to Sakleshpur in 2018? Probably

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