Raid de Himalaya Rally, India

One of the top ten toughest and most challenging car rallies around the world since 1999. A threat to Himalayan environment for the fun of rich racing cars, motorbikes and SUV owners


Raid de Himalaya rally is considered one of the top ten toughest and most challenging car rallies around the world. Started in 1999, the rally conducted every year since then. The rally generally took the route from Shimla of Himachal Pradesh to Leh, Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir. However, the route may vary in different years depends upon the weather and road condition. Himalayan Motorsport Association is the organiser of the event and last year (2013) the rally was mainly sponsored by Maruti Suzuki beside other sponsors [1]. This event is one of the major motorsport events in the country and put India on the global motorsport map. The rally is getting popularity among the Indian as well as many global participants. In 2013, the rally has got the maximum number of entries (about 153 teams) [1]. The vehicles that traditionally compete at the Raid de Himalaya rally are powerful cars, SUVs, motorcycles and quads [2]. The rally is organized on the world’s highest road at about 18,380ft above sea level. The entire track is about 2,000km long from Shimla to Leh. The route passes many difficult terrains in the Himalayas and often in temperatures below freezing points. It also embraces two of the world’s highest mountain passes, Khardung La and Wari La and takes about six days to cover its entire length. Both four-wheelers cars and two-wheelers motorbikes can participate in the rally. There is prize money and trophies for the winners. Beside this, every participants get a finisher's badge and certificate. However due to the harsh weather and difficult road conditions, officials estimates that only 25% of the participants are able to finish the rally [5, 6].

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Basic Data
NameRaid de Himalaya Rally, India
ProvinceHimachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir
Siteacross the areas of Shimla - Lahual - Spiti - Ladakh - Zanskar
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesTourism services
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date10/10/2013
Relevant government actorsHimachal Pradesh Tourism Department, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department, State Bank of India
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersJungwa Ladakh
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseApplication of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesLadakh region’s fragile ecology is heavily disturbed by such noisy and polluting car rallies. The members of the ‘Jungwa Ladakh’ decided that the group will protest against such rallies. The organization has unanimously passed a resolution against such events in the future in the Ladakh region. They called for a total ban for these kind of rallies and insisted the administration and concerned departments to take stringent action against those who repeat such events in future. The organization has also appealed to all environmentalists and concerned people to protest against such events and organizers of such rallies [3, 4, 7].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.According to the protesting organization ‘Jungwa Ladakh’, the rally disturbs the Ladakh’s flora and fauna. The callous and cross-country driving by the drivers of the rally destabilized the sensitive wildlife habitats and also destroyed pastureland of the region every year during the rally.

The peace and serenity of the minds of the local people living in small villages of the entire route are terribly disturbed. This is a clear violation of human rights of people who live peacefully away from hustle and bustle environment. Also, the free movement of locals and tourists were badly affected by the closure of road for the rally [3, 4, 7]
Sources and Materials

Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989
[click to view]

The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000
[click to view]


[1] Raid-de-Himalaya motor rally flagged off
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[2] Scooter joins list of vehicles in Raid De Himalaya rally
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[3] Jungwa Ladakh protests against Raid de Himalaya rally
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[5] Maruti Raid De Himalaya rally begins today
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[6] Extreme highway
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[7] Motor Rallies | A Gimmick, Cursing Himalayan Nature
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[4] Jungwa condemn the havoc created by drivers of Raid de Himalaya Rally
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Other Documents

Raid de Himalaya Rally Source : Extreme highway
[click to view]

Raid poster
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Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/11/2015