Land Rover celebrated its 70th anniversary on April 30th and to commemorate the occasion, Land Rover India conjured up a drive across the mountains in the mountains of West Bengal and Sikkim. And it wasn’t just another place but the ‘Land of Land Rover’, Maneybhanjang. A sleepy town which is home to over 40 Land Rovers, starting from the original Series I to Series II A.
“Only Land Rovers were able to trek the mountains carrying goods weighing as much as 600kg.”
Land Rovers are celebrated here and even treated as family members by the community. So much so that they’ve even formed a club, which goes by the name Singalila Land Rover. Landies were used in the post-independence era to ferry goods from the lower grounds to other inaccessible areas, served by ponies. Only Land Rovers were able to trek the mountains carrying goods weighing as much as 600kg. And since then, the cars have served generations without giving up on the people or the goods.
“The treacherous path is very harsh on the cars and we’re sure that many of the modern cars wouldn’t be able to make it”
We drove from Maneybhanjang to Sandakphu, one of the highest places in Sikkim. The place is Homê to the Army’s base camp and borders Nepal. The total distance is just 31km but thanks to unbelievable descents and challenging hairpins, it takes over three hours to traverse the whole pony trail. We drove a Series II A on the way up and a Discovery Sport one way down. And none of the cars broke down, including the heritage cars. The treacherous path is very harsh on the cars and we’re sure that many of the modern cars wouldn’t be able to make it to the top in one piece. We encountered a lot of Landies on the way, filled to the brim with passengers and that proves why the brand is still so popular in this part of the world. And what better way to celebrate the 70th birthday of an iconic carmaker than than proving its worth on the battle grounds, where it matters the most?