What will you call a cross country madness in which one has to travel 18000 odd kilometres passing through 17 countries, five mountain ranges and three deserts, from London to Mongolia in a tiny which should not be over 1200cc? If that is not enough of drama, there is no backup, no support and no set route. Are you up for the challenge? If yes, sign up for the Mongol Rally starting on July 16.

The rules and regulations are pretty simple. It starts at UK and ends in the Russian city of Ulan Ude. The car must be small and rubbish. There are absolutely no prizes for being first across the finish line. In fact, at the end of rally, each team has to raise at least 1,000 pounds, which is roughly Rs 90,000 for charity. Apart from cars, motorcycles are allowed, but not over 125 cc capacity.

The essence of the rally is to endure many encounters and finish the task. The choice of vehicle which is deliberately inappropriate for the task also highlights the adventurous spirit of the rally. The Mongol Rally is organized by a UK-based outfit known as The Adventurists. The group also organises the Rickshaw Run, a 3,500 km pan-Indian drive in a colourfully painted three-wheeler.

Advertised as the greatest adventure in the world, the inaugural Mongol rally took place in 2004, in which six teams started and four completed the course. The rally has grown to 245 participant teams last year showing the adventurous spirit among cross country enthusiasts.

The Indian connection

For the 2016 edition of Mongol Rally, 3 Bangaloreans - Sunaina Pamudurthy, Bhairav Kuttaiah and Binoy John will participate in a Tata Nano. The trio better called as NanoMADs will be the first Indian group participating in the rally in an Indian car. The team made certain changes to their Nano to make it rally-spec. These include sump guards on the engine and fuel tanks, a Global Positioning System tracker, a 300-litre roof box to carry travel essentials and a 22-litre jerry can for fuel to survive the last patch through Mongolia reports Scroll.