Rickshaw Run to herald tourism season in State

110 tourists to cover 2,700-km journey from Fort Kochi to Jaisalmer in autos

September 10, 2022 07:37 pm | Updated 07:37 pm IST - KOCHI

The jazzed-up machines of the Rickshaw Run parked near the Cochin Club in Fort Kochi on Saturday.

The jazzed-up machines of the Rickshaw Run parked near the Cochin Club in Fort Kochi on Saturday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Rickshaw Run, which has mostly men and women from abroad taking turns in driving India’s iconic autorickshaws, will set rolling from Fort Kochi on Monday for an arduous 2,700-km journey to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

This event is being seen as a harbinger of the tourism season in Kerala, which is making an all-out effort to make up for two successive years lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The trip will include off-road trails for the 110 guests from over a dozen countries. A total of 46 autorickshaws bedecked in a variety of exotic shades have been arranged in a neat row at the Cochin Club in Fort Kochi.

The Rickshaw Run is being organised by The Adventurists. Ricky Solanky, one of the organisers, spoke of how technical personnel taught the guests, who have international driving licence, to drive the three-wheeler.

“The Rickshaw Run is generally organised twice a year, which apart from tourism promotion, helps the participants to savour the real India — the villages,” he says.

All team members are thrilled at the opportunity of exploring India in a three-wheeler, says O’Dell, one among the participants. “Most of us are new to the Rickshaw Run. Each auto will have two to three persons and the daily drive will be for an average of eight hours, and there will be a break in Goa,” she says.

The proceeds from the event will be given for charity.

Antony Kureethara, Leader of the Opposition in the Kochi Corporation and who represents Fort Kochi, says tourism stakeholders and others are excited at so many foreign guests converging at the heritage locale, and many more coming to see them off.

“Since 2016 we have been maintaining the autorickshaws, which often return after continuous 4,000-km trips across India,” says Mathew Joshua, who heads a Bajaj dealership in Kochi. “They come with a work order to replace almost all moving parts, tyres, cables, bulbs, engine cylinder kits, bushes etc. This makes them fit for yet another 4,000 km.”

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