Travel Ideas

The India Rickshaw Challenge

Every summer in India is staged the auto-rickshaw challenge, where travelers are invited to risk their lives and sanity in driving a 3 wheeled auto rickshaw over a thousand miles from Chennai (Madras) to Bombay.

A rickshaw has the engine of a scooter but it feels like a lawnmower and, with a canvas covering a steel frame, it’s in no way, shape or form equipped to hold its own among the monster trucks along India’s pot-holed highways.

You’ll be forced off the road, have dust in your eyes all the way and develop terrible posture as you crouch inside your rickshaw and hum mantras to Ganesh to keep you safe as you go.

Sounds great.

Of course, you could always leave the other racers behind and go native, driving your rickshaw around the country for the rest of your mortal years (rapidly shrinking with each day spent inside a rickshaw). The race is a good initiation into the chaos of India though and good fun can be had sharing stories at the end of each day with the other surviving drivers.

There’s also a smaller version of this crazy journey in the winter. Learn more about the details and entry in the race at: