The idea behind the 'Kashmir Off Road' expedition is to explore the culture, its people, landscape and uniqueness of that place, said Sajid, the founder of the expedition.
Treading through logs and boulders, sand and mud, steep inclines, a couple conducts India's premier off-road adventure, motor-sport outfit "Kashmir Off Road" expedition to unknown, uneven destinations to give their riders a real thrill as they manoeuvre over the unpaved ground to promote sport and tourism together. Established in 2017, "Kashmir Off Road" started to develop and promote motor-sport and overland travel in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond. Kashmir Off Road is making a positive difference in the valley, and at the same time providing a platform for youngsters to take up the sport.
Since its inception in early 2017, Kashmir Off Road has successfully established a strong social community of motor-sport and off-road enthusiasts in India and abroad which is growing by the day.
The signature events include like FrozenRush, Mudzilla, Evolution - vintage car show, and regional and international overland expeditions have been a great success garnering extensive international, national, and regional coverage.
Off Road works closely with the J-K government, police, and army and all our events are facilitated by these agencies and organizations. It also works with J-K Tourism in promoting unknown tourist destinations of Kashmir, hence creating sustainable tourism opportunities and livelihood for the locals.
As a part of our endeavour to empower the youth of J-K, Kashmir Off Road members are setting examples as role models in the local communities.
Kashmir Off Road has introduced and trained many youngsters to take up motorsport in the region. We are also encouraging women in the region to be a part of our community as well. Some of our boys have participated and won in national and international motor-sporting competitions
Sajid, the founder of Kashmir Off-Road conversation, said that we would like to connote off-road to overland travel and off-road is a part of it. Overlanding is self-reliant travel to remote destinations where the 'journey' is the principal goal which is mostly accomplished with mechanized off-road capable vehicles. Such journeys usually involve driving on non-paved and dirt roads. The idea behind such journeys is to explore the culture, its people, landscape and uniqueness of that place."
While narrating the journey, Sajid said that we started back in 2017 with the aim of introducing overland travel in Jammu and Kashmir.
"We have conducted many overland expeditions in and around Kashmir. We have also organized motor-sport events with the aim of providing a platform for youngsters to take up the sport and an opportunity for enthusiasts to compete in national and international events. Our club members have competed and won in international motor-sport events too. We also conduct the Kashmir car and bike show, which offers a platform to petrol heads, and car and bike enthusiasts and build on an automotive culture in the region," he added.
Farah Zaidi, co-founder of Kashmir Off Road, explained that Kashmir is heaven for overlanding and off-roading. She said, "There are many remote places which can only be explored by road. Such destinations may not have metalled or paved roads, hence the use of 4x4 and off-road vehicles become inevitable. A destination like Chakwali in Gurez is a good example of such a destination waiting to be explored by an adventure traveller."
With regards to motor-sport events, the idea is to provide a platform for the sport and introduce youngsters to it.
"Conducting events on tight budgets and getting sponsorships have been challenging. Funding to train youngsters for motorsports and getting governments' attention have been a challenge. In spite of the odds we have successfully conducted close to 50 big and small events since 2017," she added.
Farah Zaidi also said that Off-road adventure and Overlanding involve travelling to remote and unseen destinations.
"Our endeavour to visit off-beat places in Kashmir is with an intention of creating awareness about sustainable tourism practices by involving local communities and encouraging homestays. This not only paves way for responsible tourism but at the same time is a source of livelihood for locals," she further said.
"We would like to see the youth getting engaged in the competitive motorsport which we are also promoting. Many youngsters are taking part in competitive events not only in Kashmir but participating in events outside Kashmir too," Zaidi said. (ANI)