The 9th Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey flagged off from India Gate

Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey, the ultimate ride of adventure motorcycling in India, was flagged off early today morning by Dr Venki Padmanabhan, CEO Royal Enfield from the India Gate. The non competitive 16 day adventure will have 67 riders from India and abroad cover a distance of 2700 kilometers from Delhi to Khardung La on their Royal Enfield Motorcycles. This is the 09th edition of this prestigious marquee ride by Royal Enfield.

Addressing the group of Royal Enfield enthusiasts, and hundreds of people present to wish the riders luck, Dr. Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield, said, We are honoured that this band of riders have elected to come with us, on our motorcycles, on this epic bucket list ride, not just honored but deeply touched..

This year the motorcycling pilgrimage will have riders will venture into the Spiti valley first and cover the Rohtang Pass on their way back which is unlike the earlier editions of the Himalayan Odyssey.

The seasoned motorcyclists on their way to Leh will pass through Parwanoo, Narkhanda, Keylong, Sarchu via Kalpa and Kaza region. Kalpa and the Kaza region are considered to be the toughest terrains for riding not only in India but across the world. After relaxing for a day on July 01, the riders will set out for the sand dunes of Hunder and then start their journey back tracing Leh, Debring, Keylong, Manali and Chandigarh to finally reach back in Delhi on Sunday, July 8, 2012.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey is a dream ride from the beginning to end and is one of the oldest adventure motorcycling events in the country. This splendid two weeks challenge, takes the riders and their Royal Enfield bikes through the most beautiful yet, most challenging roads on the planet.

Often considered as an achievement by motorcyclists, the ride involves every kind of terrain including rocks, mud, snow, rain and sand. The ride by no means is easy and checks the riders on physical and mental capabilities. The temperatures drop to as low as minus 30 degrees in certain parts and oxygen is extremely low, only the fittest dare to survive in such extreme conditions. In case of any emergency, medical help for the bikers and mechanical help for their machines is on?hand 24/7.

‘I love to hear their accounts upon their triumphant return in two weeks. The theme is often about transformation. Boys come back as men, men come back sages and sages come back as grinning boys’ Added Dr. Padmanabhan.

The flag off ceremony began with the riders seeking blessing of the Lamas- Buddhist Monks, who hold the spiritual thread of the Leh- Ladakh region. The proceedings culminated with the riders moving out in formation, the thump of their bikes vociferating through the premises of India Gate, as the crowd admired the motorcycles head off towards their ultimate adventure.