The India-Russia Friendship Rally by Mahindra Adventure concluded on 02 June 2018. The event marked seven decades of Indo-Russian diplomatic relations, and was supported by the Governments of four nations involved. The rally saw a group of travel enthusiasts from India and Russia set off in 18 Mahindra vehicles from Bhilai on 19 February, to traverse roads across four countries before reaching Russia in May.
The joint effort by Indian and the Russian Governments commemorated the 70th year of Indian independence and 70 years of the India-Russia Diplomatic Relationship. The group navigated through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), and the rally was conducted in three legs.
The convoy was made up of 14 Mahindra Scorpios, two XUV 500’s, one Getaway and one Thar. The expedition promoted connectivity between India and Russia, with an aim to boost trade and investments as well as open civilian travel. The focus remained on strengthening relations and cooperation in areas of culture, tourism, science and research.
The India leg of the rally culminated in Delhi on 14 March from where the Ambassador of Russia flagged off the second part. The 18 Mahindra vehicles were then shipped from Kandla port to Bandar Abbas in Iran. The participants then drove towards the north of Iran crossing the historically important cities of Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan and Tehran.
From Iran, the group entered Azerbaijan and the city of Baku. While driving into Russia, the group crossed Astrakhan, Volgograd, Moscow and finally St Petersburg to end the second leg of the rally.
Another set of participants traced back the route to Bandar Abbas to finally end the entire expedition on 02 June 2018, covering 19,989 kilometres.