Cold desert off-road rally begins today

The cold desert of Sarfaranga, Skardu is going to experience the first of its kind jeep rally from August 18-20.

At least 85 off-road vehicles and 25 bikes are participating in one of the most arduous treks in the world – the Sarfaranga plains.

The freezing cold desert is located 7,500 feet above the sea level which leads to K-2 base and the Deosai National Park. The prize money for the winner is Rs2 million. The four-by-four riders will be required to cover a distance of 30 kilometres only but the terrain is so challenging that the rally has been divided into phases.

“World cold desert jeep and bike rally will start from Sarfaranga, Skardu, from August 18 to 20, said Waqar Ali Khan, Secretary Establishment and Services, Gilgit-Baltistan.

Credits: Ali Noori photography

A tent village would be set up near Blind Lake. A polo match would also be held regarding the festivities planned with the jeep rally. The rally will put forward the soft image of Pakistan to the world.

Addressing the media, Baltistan Commissioner Asim Ayub said all arrangements for peaceful and smooth conduct of the first-ever four-day rally have been completed. “At least 200 drivers and special vehicles from the country and abroad have started reaching Baltistan for the rally.”

The basic motive of the rally is to spotlight the scenic and mountainous beauty, cultural heritage, centuries old traditions, handicrafts and hospitality for which the G-B is renowned for.