The 16th edition of Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey was flagged off from Chandigarh recently. With 60 riders embarking on a journey, considered as the holy grail of motorcycling, Himalayan Odyssey will witness riders covering a distance of over 2,000 kilometres in 15 days on their Royal Enfield motorcycles. With a view to reduce impact on the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas, this edition of the Himalayan Odyssey will begin a new journey of sustainability. Royal Enfield has worked on installing community water purifiers in order to avoid the use of single-use plastic water bottles.
While traversing through some of the roughest terrains, highest mountain passes in the world, navigating through empty stretches of pristine landscape and rock-strewn pathways, this year the Himalayan Odyssey contingent will also be propagating the concept of a sustainable motorcycle journey. As the numbers of motorcycling enthusiasts riding up to the Himalayas grows year on year, the amount of plastic waste left behind also incrementally increases. More than 12,000 motorcycles ply on the Leh-Manali route each year according to official estimates, which translates to approximately 4,80,000 plastic bottles strewn across an already delicately balanced ecosystem. Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey this year, is aiming for a zero ‘single-use-plastic-ride’ by discouraging participants from using bottled water, and facilitating purified water by employing dispensers along the way.
To cut down the use of single use plastic bottles, Royal Enfield will set up community water purifiers along this route. Six purifiers will be installed across strategic locations which see maximum motorcyclists ride through, and therefore have high consumption of bottled water apart from 3 dispensers that will be used by the participants on the Himalayan Odyssey. This season, these purifiers will be installed at Keylong Service Centre, Sarchu Camps, Leh Service Centre, Nubra Swiss Camps, Pangong Camps and Swiss Camps in Debring, while three additional water purifiers will be used throughout the journey for Himalayan Odyssey participants. Pure and filtered water will be available to riders traversing this route, thereby negating the need to purchase single-use plastic water bottles.
Addressing the riders at the flag-off ceremony and speaking about Royal Enfield’s sustainability initiative, Mr. Shubhranshu Singh, Global Head – Marketing, Royal Enfield, said: “The Himalayas have been Royal Enfield’s spiritual home for decades, and the Himalayan Odyssey is a testimony of our commitment to encourage riders to do more with their motorcycles. This year we have begun a new journey to do more with this epic ride itself, as we take a small step towards preserving and sustaining the delicate environment of the Himalayas. We hope that our sustainable drinking water project for all riders on this group, will encourage all motorcyclists riding to the Himalayas to do their bit for the environment. This is the beginning of our effort to make a difference and to nurture an environmentally aware and conscientious community of riders. We hope these 60 riders become an inspiration of responsible and sustainable motorcycle journeys, for other riders to emulate”.
This year, participants for the Himalayan Odyssey congregated from across India and the world, including cities like Mumbai, Pune, Madurai, Delhi, Bangalore and Saudi Arabia, among others, to be a part of this epic ride.
Through the ride, the participants will traverse across picturesque regions of the Himalayas in Ladakh. The ride route will throw hostile challenges at the riders in terms of weather and terrain; each turn exposing the riders to a new landscape like no other, eventually leading them to overwhelming beauty of the great Himalayan range.